Local Shrimp

Ceviche is one of those dishes that can be made in an endless number of ways and is damn near impossible to screw up. You can use almost any seafood for it, but I usually stick to some combo of scallop, shrimp, fish, lobster and calamari. As always, freshness is of the utmost importance with this dish. Living in Florida, and especially when making a ceviche or raw preparation, there’s no excuse for using anything but extremely fresh and/or local seafood. You can also use a wide range of fruits and veggies to add beautiful flavor and color.

This one was just too tasty. I used local, fresh shrimp that were butterflied & cleaned thoroughly. Many times I will cut the meat into smaller, roughly marble sized pieces. There’s really no wrong way for it to be cut, just keep in mind that the thicker the chunks, the longer it will take for the citrus to “cook” it through to the center. Put the shrimp in a non-reactive dish (nothing metallic) and coat in equal parts fresh-squeezed lemon & lime juice. Make sure they are fully covered in juice to ensue that the citrus penetrates the shrimp evenly on all sides (this can take some serious squeezin’). I let them soak in the mixture for about 6 hours, until the meat looked “cooked” and bright white all the way through to the center.

When there was about 1 hour left, I added diced red onion, cucumber, and roasted orange bell pepper (chill after roasting, so you aren’t adding hot peppers to a cold dish). Season to taste with sea salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and garnish with some diced tomato. Avocado would have gone really nice with this version, as well. Talk about a refreshing dish!!

Ceviche

One of the best aspects of preparing a dish like this is the amount of room there is for creativity, and to adjust the flavors based on personal preferences. Other ingredients I often incorporate into ceviches include fresh squeezed orange, jalapeno, cilantro, roasted red pepper, tomato, pineapple & mango. As long as it’s a flavor you enjoy, it really is hard to go wrong. Also, combinations of various meats work very well. Last week I used scallop & yellowtail snapper. You get it!