Ceviche is a wonderful summer dish, especially when you don’t want to cook. Well, when you don’t want to cook with heat, that is.
The fish or shellfish in ceviche IS cooked, but with acid, usually from citrus juice. It has the same texture as if it had been cooked on the stove, but the acid in the lime or lemon juice is what causes the chemical reaction and produces the “cooked” texture.
If you are new to ceviche, or have not prepared it at home, I like to suggest starting with shrimp. Shrimp “cooked” in lime/lemon juice has a really nice, firm texture. And, for some reason, even people who might be a little squeamish about the whole ceviche concept are usually willing to try this version. Serve with chips or tortillas, and maybe a side of guacamole, and you’ve got a great summer dinner – without turning on a single burner.
1 lb large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound)
1 tsp lime zest (about 1 lime)
1/2 cup lime juice (about 4 limes)
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced fine
1 jalapeño stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 garlic clove , minced
1/4 cup olive oil
4 scallions , sliced thin
1 cup cherry tomatoes , quartered
3 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 ripe avocado, pitted and finely
Ground black pepper
Peel shrimp, devein, and slice each shrimp in half lengthwise using a paring knife.
Stir the lime zest, lime juice, lemon juice, bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt together in a medium bowl. Gently stir in the shrimp, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until the seafood is firm, opaque, and appears cooked, 45 to 60 minutes, stirring halfway through the marinating time.
Place the mixture in a fine-mesh strainer, leaving it a little wet, then return to the bowl. Gently stir in the oil, scallions, tomatoes, cilantro, and sugar followed by the avocado. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.