Sunday, July 8, 2012

An App Fit For Fireworks - Fourth of July Shrimp Ceviche

Happy Birthday, America! Though July Fourth has quickly come and gone, this year's memories of great food and family fun should last us a while. Our Independence Day cookout was a hit, and everyone delivered big time with some excellent food offerings. Highlights included a delicious grilled skirt steak courtesy of my mom and a really fantastic Grilled Peach, Bacon, and Onion salad made by my very talented sister in law. Check out the recipe she used here: Grilled Peach Onion and Bacon Salad with 
Buttermilk Dressing

Photo by John Kernick, Food & Wine Mag

Now my BBQ assignment was to come up with a great starter, and Ceviche was the first thing that popped to mind. Ever since our honeymoon in Belize, my husband and I have been partial to serving ceviches with tortilla chips just as they do there. Ceviche served this way makes a great communal appetizer. Best of all, the Rick Bayless Ceviche recipe that I adapted below calls for the shrimp to be cooked, unlike most ceviches which call for raw fish. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love raw fish ceviches, but when serving a crowd and especially in hot weather, I often err on the side of caution with uncooked ingredients - it's the neurotic in me. Do enjoy this really easy, super citrusy and stupendous Shrimp Ceviche. We sure did!

Shrimp Ceviche - Ceviche de Camaron 
Adapted from Rick Bayless
Serves 6

2/3 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
1 1/4 Lb Shrimp, Peeled, Deveined, Tails off. I prefer smaller sized shrimp -35 count/lb. 
(Note: buying cleaned, deveined Shrimp is a huge timesaver. Our fishmonger cleaned them for us for 2 extra bucks - money well spent if you ask me)
1/2 a large White Onion chopped into quarter-inch pieces
1/3 Cup chopped Fresh Cilantro plus extra sprigs for garnish
1/2 Cup Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Mexican Vinegary Hot Sauce - We used Cholula Brand Chili Lime Flavor
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Cup diced, peeled Cucumber
1 small ripe Avocado, peeled and cubed 
Coarse Salt
Photo, NK 
2 Limes cut in quarters for garnish
Good Quality, Study Tortilla Chips for Serving

Make the Shrimp

Bring one quart of salted water to a boil. 

Add 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice. 

Scoop in the Shrimp and cover until water returns to a boil.

Immediately remove pot from the heat. 

Pour off the water leaving the Shrimp in the pot. 

Return lid to pot and let Shrimp steam for 8 to 10 minutes. 

Once steamed, lay the Shrimp in a large glass, high-sided dish to cool completely.

Once cooled, remove Shrimp to cutting board and cut into thirds or bite-sized hunks.

Boiled Shrimp, Photo: NK

Return Shrimp to the glass pyrex and pour 2/3 Cup Lime Juice over them.

Cover the dish and refrigerate for about an hour.

Once the Shrimp has marinated
Combine Onion, Chopped Cilantro, Avocado and Cucumber in a large bowl. 

Pour in the Shrimp with its Lime Juice.

Add Ketchup, Hot Sauce, and Olive Oil. 

Mixing the Ingredients, Photo: NK 
Mix gently until the wet ingredients are fully incorporated.

Taste for seasoning and add Coarse Salt if needed.

To Serve
You may serve the Ceviche individually in Sundae bowls with Tortilla Chips on the side for a more formal gathering, but I opted to pour the Ceviche into a communal bowl set on a tray with the Tortilla Chips around it. Garnish the dish with lots of Lime wedges and a few Cilantro sprigs. Add a spoon in case folks would like to spoon on the mixture instead of dip the Tortilla Chips.


Shrimp Ceviche! Photo: NK

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