Saturday, February 6, 2010

Shrimp Ceviche

Ceviche, originally uploaded by Kim De.

It is always a fun yet nerve wracking experience to make something completely new. Especially something you have had and loved in the past.

Enter ceviche. I love this stuff! It's especially good on a hot summer day. Well, here in Middle Tennessee it certainly isn't hot. In fact we are having record breaking snow this winter. But that didn't stop my mouth from craving ceviche.

The first thing I must say is I followed the recipe to the letter. I didn't want to play around with acid-cooking raw shrimp! It was fun to watch the shrimp go from obviously raw

to obviously cooked from the lime juice.

After this phenomena of science was complete, the rest of the recipe was easy. Capers and avocado added tang and creamy texture and the tomato sauce completed the picture with a smoky canvas for the seafood.

We sat down prepared to dig in. I took my first bite. It was an extreme tang of lime. Really. I couldn't even taste the other flavors. All I could taste was lime. The recipe called for "cooking" the shrimp for 6-12 hours. Mine cooked for 11. I think it was too long. What is the right time? I'm not sure yet. Somewhere between raw and waaaay to acid.

Guess I will have to try again!

Veracruz-Style Spicy Shrimp Ceviche (Adapted from Antojitos)

Cooked Tomato Salsa
1 T corn oil
2 cloves garlic
5 plum tomatoes, halved
Leaves from 1/2 bunch Mexican oregano
1 t sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
About 3 cups freshly squeezed lime juice (about 24 limes)
2 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup nonpareil capers, rinsed and drained

1 avocado, halved and pitted
6 sprigs cilantro
1 lime, sliced into 6 rounds

To make the cooked salsa, in a 2-qt saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or until softened but not colored. Take care to not overcook.

Add the tomatoes, oregano and sugar and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes or until mixture has a sauce-like consistency. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Transfer the salsa to the blender and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a glass or other reactive container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until chilled.

To make the ceviche, in a non-reactive bowl, gently mix the shrimp and lime juice. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 6 hour or up to 12 to give the shrimp time to "cook" in the lime juice.

Remove the shrimp from the lime juice with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a nonreactive bowl. Add the avocados and capers and mix gently.

To serve, spoon 1/4 cup of the cooked salsa into the bottom of a serving dish. Add about one 6th of the recipe then top it with 1 T cooked salsa. To garnish, add a slice of avocado, a slice of lime and a sprig of cilantro.

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