Walter Mencken 10:15 a.m., Dec. 13
Call it ceviche, seviche, or cebiche. But no matter which of these similar sounding names that you assign to this Latin American specialty, it still translates to a festival of fresh and provocative flavors that simultaneously burst forth upon your taste buds with every bite. The best news is that this popular dish is extremely easy to prepare, and with the addition of a little guacamole and a few other condiments, it can be turned into either a light meal or offered up as a luscious appetizer at your next dinner party.
Since Baja California peninsula is almost completely surrounded by the sea, it is easy to understand why sea foods play such an important role in the traditional cuisine of our area. And, without a doubt, one of the most popular snacks at refreshment time is ceviche. Almost every coastal region has its own rendition of this mixture of raw shrimp, fish or scallops, which naturally ‘cooks’ itself in fresh citrus juice.
This particular recipe is a creation of Executive Chef Raul Delgadillo at La Fiesta, a popular restaurant in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, and is typical of versions that are served throughout Baja California. It pairs wonderfully with crunchy, corn tortilla chips, guacamole and a cold cerveza or margarita.
1½ lb. White sea bass or other mild, white fish
1½ lb. Shrimp (31/40 size) 1½ lb. Bay scallops 1 cup Fresh lemon juice 1 cup Fresh lime juice 1 cup Fresh orange juice 1/3 cup Olive oil 4 cloves Fresh garlic 2 lb. Tomatoes (ripe) 1 cup Spanish red onion 1/3 cup Fresh Cilantro (chopped) ½ cup Tomato catsup 1 Tbls. Fresh oregano ½ tsp. Salt ¼ tsp. Freshly ground black pepper 2 Tbls. Serrano Chiles (chopped) 2/3 cup Green olives (pitted & chopped) 1 ripe Avocado (sliced for garnish)
Place the seafood in a glass bowl, cover with the citrus juice mixture and refrigerate overnight.
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet; add the garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes. Discard the garlic and allow the oil to cool.
Chop tomatoes and remove seeds, but reserve the juice. Place in a large glass bowl and add the onion, cilantro, catsup, oregano, salt, pepper, chiles and olives. Then add the skillet oil and mix well. Set aside.
Thoroughly rinse the seafood, cover again with fresh water and let stand for 5 minutes, then rinse again. Add the seafood to the mixture of condiments and stir well.
Serve immediately with avocado garnish, and enjoy!
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