Monday, 2 February 2015

White fish and Shrimp Ceviche

Years ago I had a fantastic Peruvian friend. For a long time he sat at the table next to mine, we shared work, and we ended up making good friends. Then we lost touch, but he really was a very dear friend, as he is an  absolutely charming, funny and a great, great guy. And thanks to him I learned many things about Peru. My whole relationship with this country was limited until then to the husband of a distant cousin of my father, that I meet  once every couple of years, and that was all.

But my friend J.L. taught me a lot of that wonderful country, and made me stand on his side when Chilean  colleagues  talked about pisco sour as their national drink, when he had previously taught me that the real pisco was a Peruvian thing (and excuse me, I had no idea, but he was my friend, and in my defense I will say simply that I love pisco-sour). And he talked about the Japanese in Peru (they were Fujimori times, so you know how long it's been), and all the wonders that were waiting for him to go back home, such a lost paradise (I know that shortly after he returned to his paradise, but now he is back in Madrid). Now, when I hear wonders of Peruvian cuisine, and appears everywhere as the ultimate gastronomic discovery I remember him and how he lit up his eyes to tell me how to make a good Peruvian ceviche.

I must say I never asked him for his recipe, which I regret infinitely. But I need no help to remember the joy of living that we had at that time, his absolutely delicious smile, and all the good times that we share at a time when life was still a project in which all could happen.

So I recall all of this when preparing ceviche. This dish is perfect for the summer, is prepared in a few minutes and everyone loves it.. And no, the fish is not raw: the lime juice cooks it, so be careful not to let too much time or the juice will actually "burn" it. That's all the trick, -well, and putting the right amount of chilli pepper. Which is very relative, and depends on taste, but once you pick up the right spot, it's really delicious, light and tasty.

White fish  and Shrimp Ceviche

Ingredients (for 2)

 A handful of large Shrimps (fresh or frozen)
2 fillets of firm-fleshed white fish (I used hake), fresh or frozen
Half purple onion
Chili (chile powder)
Lime and lemons juice
White wine vinegar (2 tablespoons)

Cut the onion into thick strips, add salt and vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the fish in 1 inch dices. Clean well the shrimps and remove the intestines. Add a bit of salt, add the lime juice (enough quantity for covering the fish), the chili powder and mix. Place in refrigerator about 10 to 15 minutes, add the onion, mix all and serve immediately with some parsley leaves for garnish.

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