Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ceviche-Style Tacos

Ceviche!  Fun to say, and even more fun to eat.  Ceviche is a wonderful Peruvian dish of raw fish 'cooked' with citrus juice and mixed with peppers and vegetables.  The fish is not actually cooked, but it does turn firm and opaque when it marinates in the citrus juices.  I had frozen fish on hand, so I poached the fish for 5 minutes first, but if you have ready access to very fresh fish, do use that instead.

Southern Spoon blog: Ceviche-Style tacos
Colorful ceviche ready to serve with mini homemade tortillas
Ceviche is often served with tortilla chips, but I've recommended serving this recipe with small homemade tortillas so that guests can make mini tacos.  To complete the meal, peel a sweet potato and slice it into 1/2-inch thick slices, boiling the slices for about 10 minutes until tender.  Arrange the warm sweet potato slices on each plate, and add a salad of chopped mango and kiwi fruit.  The flavors go beautifully with the ceviche, and make for a filling dinner.  

This is perfect for a summer meal, and especially fun for a dinner party.  Serve the ceviche in individual wine or martini glasses garnished with a lime.  Set a glass on each plate alongside a short stack of mini tortillas, boiled sweet potato slices, and mango and kiwi fruit salad.  Enjoy!

Ceviche-Style Tacos
4-5 generous servings

4 white fish fillets (such as tilapia, haddock, or halibut), frozen, or very fresh
1 lemon
1 lime
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 pickled onions, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and very finely chopped
2 bell peppers, any color
2 hot peppers (such as jalepenos or serrano peppers)
1-2 teaspoons hot sauce (Tabasco or Cholula)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 avocados

To serve:
4-inch tortillas (make sure they're gluten-free if cooking g-f) 
additional lime slices

If you're using frozen fish, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and poach the fish for 5-6 minutes, until opaque.  Remove fish and coursley chop into 1/2 inch pieces.  Arrange pieces in a shallow glass or ceramic dish with a cover.  Grate the lemon rind and squeeze the juice from half of the lemon over the fish.  Grate the lime rind and squeeze the juice from half of the lime over the fish.  Sprinkle with pepper. Cover the fish and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or overnight.  

Wash and cut the bell peppers in half.  Broil the pepper halves, skin side up, under a hot oven broiler for about 5 minutes, until beginning to blacken on top.  Turn the halves over and broil, insides up, for about 5 more minutes.  Remove from oven and place in a plastic back so that they steam for a few minutes.  After they've steamed, peel off any blacked skin and discard skin.  Shop coursely and place into a large bowl.  

Add the purple onion, pickled onion, carrots, and peppers to the bell peppers.  Add 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce, the remaining juice from the lemon and lime, and pinch of salt, tossing to coat.  Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or overnight.

After the fish and vegetables have chilled, dice the avocado.  Add the avocado and fish to the vegetable mixture, stirring gently to incorporate.  Serve immediately.

Serve with mini tortillas and lime slices so that guests can fill their tortillas with ceviche to construct mini-tacos.  If serving gluten-free guests, make sure the tortillas are gluten-free corn tortillas.

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