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Ceviche — a delectable symphony of zest and aroma — stands out as an effortless yet vibrant summer starter that never fails to captivate. Customarily, it’s a mélange of raw, finely cubed fish and assorted seafood, interlaced with delicate strands of vegetables and aromatic herbs, all taking a plunge in a refreshing citrus marinade.
Just last evening, I ventured into the realm of Chilean-style Ceviche — a sublime medley tailor-made for the sultry days. It’s become my signature offering for gatherings, a crowd-pleaser I confidently present, knowing it’s met with universal adoration.
My affection for ceviche blossomed following an unforgettable recovery session in Santiago de Chile. There, after partaking generously in the local libations—be it the revered Pisco Sour or the tantalizing Strawberry Chicha — I sought solace in this coastal cure-all.
In the small hours, against the backdrop of a city shrouded in curfew, we would slip into Santiago’s Mercado Central. Amidst the hushed cadence of the pre-dawn market, vendors at the fish stalls composed healing ceviches from the ocean’s fresh bounty: razor clams, mussels, sea urchin roe, mingling with crisp sweet onion, robust poblano chilies, and the verdant lift of cilantro—all married in the tang of lemon and lime, with just a whisper of salt. The citrus’s bold embrace “cooks” the seafood, a process that demands nothing short of the freshest catch.
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These nocturnal excursions unfolded even as the city slept under the watchful eye of Pinochet’s final days. Encounters with the curfew patrols were frequent, but the mere mention of a ceviche pilgrimage to the Mercado won us knowing glances, and at times, an escort through the still streets, ensuring our quest for the hangover panacea was met without mishap.
Ceviche’s many Latin American iterations are a testament to its versatility. From the mixed marvels of Guatemala, Chile’s briny clams, and Peru’s quintessential fish ceviche, to Mexico’s tomato-kissed variations and Ecuador’s shrimp and croaker blend—each is a mosaic of taste and texture, united by the invigorating Leche de Tigre marinade, a vibrant potion of citrus juices and a hint of grape seed oil.
Opting for a firm, white fish like sea bass or halibut is ideal for crafting ceviche. Freshness is paramount—picture your selection thriving in the vast ocean just a day prior, destined to grace the citrus bath of lime and mixed juices, alongside a confetti of raw, crisp vegetables.
Dive into the essence of Peruvian-style ceviche with this recipe: Corvina fish, artfully diced, shares the stage with slivers of red onion and the fieriness of habaneros or milder piquillo peppers, complemented by the sweet crunch of bell peppers.
- Two fillets of fresh, firm Corvina fish
- Juice of 3 limes
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ½ red onion, finely sliced
- ½ small habanero or piquillo chili, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup of red and yellow bell peppers, diced
- ½ tablespoon grape-seed oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- Dice the fish into uniform ½-inch pieces.
- In a sizable bowl, combine the fish with lime and lemon juices, onion, and peppers.
- Stir the mixture for 8 to 10 minutes, allowing the citrus to tenderize the fish gently.
- Drizzle in the grape-seed oil, blending thoroughly.
- Season with salt and pepper, adjust to your preference.
- Serve briskly, garnished with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro or your chosen herbs.
On occasions when the day’s catch is beyond reach, I’ve found that high-quality, water-packed canned fish can suffice. After sampling numerous brands, I settled on Safe Catch’s tuna offerings. Their pledge to test for mercury reassures, and while the flavor profile shifts subtly from its fresh counterpart, it remains an undeniably tasty entrée.
For those intrigued by Safe Catch and the company’s rigorous standards, further details are available on it’s website or through Amazon’s retail platform.
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