My first born, Chandler, is on a ceviche kick. Her enthusiasm for all types of seafood marinated in lime juice started a couple of months ago when my sister-in-law made an amazing batch for a party. Chrissy’s ceviche was full of sweet, juicy shrimp and creamy bites of avocado marinated in the perfect amount of acid and seasonings. Since then, Chandler has also tried two restaurant versions which she deemed good–just not as good as Aunt Chrissy’s! More recently, I had the good fortune of getting my hands on several pounds of straight-off-the-boat Louisiana Gulf shrimp and the first thing that came to mind was ceviche. I couldn’t think of a better way to enjoy the pristine flavor of fresh, local shrimp. So in an effort to appease my daughter and satisfy my own cravings, I took a nod from Chrissy and created my latest rendition of ceviche. Like hers, my version is shrimp-centric and dotted with chunks of just-ripe avocados. It’s also served salsa-style with lots of crunchy tortilla chips. Fresh finger food at its finest. And fresh is key here guys! Because the acid used to “cook” the shrimp does not kill bacteria, it’s very important to use only super fresh shrimp from a reputable source. Otherwise you’ll need to cook the shrimp beforehand, which I’ve addressed in my recipe below.
Another important point worth addressing is what to drink with ceviche (mind you, this paragraph does not pertain to my 15-year-old daughter). Yes, you could always resort to a cold, lime-wedged cerveza. But how about entertaining something a tad more festive like a cava? This Spanish sparkling wine is really fun to serve with seafood dishes, particularly those with Latin flair. And I especially love a glass finished with a splash of pomegranate juice. I don’t know a whole lot about cavas, but lately I’ve been crushing on the Segura Viudas Cava Brut. It’s a reasonably priced bottle that you can find pretty much anywhere. Hope you enjoy!
Until next time …
Gulf Shrimp Ceviche Recipe
2 pounds very fresh* raw medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into thirds
Juice of 6 large limes
Juice of 1 large orange
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red onions
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped
Tortilla chips, for serving
Place shrimp in a large mixing bowl. Add lime juice, cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are pale pink and firm, about 1 hour. Once the shrimp are “cooked,” add orange juice, vinegar, peppers and onions. Season to taste with salt. Just before serving, stir in cilantro and avocados. Serve with tortilla chips. Makes 8-10 servings.
*To prevent any type of foodborne illness, it’s imperative that you use extremely fresh raw shrimp in this recipe. If you don’t have access to very fresh shrimp, boil them ahead of time. That’s what I had to do when I made my Satsuma Ceviche. Then add the lime juice and the rest of the marinade ingredients (through the red onions) at the same time. Of course if you’re pregnant or have a compromised immune system, definitely cook the shrimp first.