FRESH MEX SKILLS - DAY 6

FRESH MEX SKILLS - DAY 6

Ceviche Saturday!

Yesterday we asked you to hit your local supermarket in pursuit of fresh, quality ingredients for your first weekend of cooking. Today, we'll transform this humble assortment of ingredients into something truly remarkable - starting with ceviche! 

We split the lesson into two recipes. The first is a traditional seafood ceviche. It's a great recipe to use during a training cycle because it has a lot of protein and it doesn't skimp on the flavor. More importantly, the dish requires very little salt, and no added fat. 

The second recipe is another riff on ceviche, but instead of using seafood, we loaded it with fresh vegetables. It tastes great over cooled quinoa, or alongside a boiled egg and toast (or tortillas!) at breakfast. Best of all, the dish gets better over time, as flavors meld. So making a large batch is a great way to save some time and energy on those pressed-for-time training days where you need tasty veggies at a moment's notice. 

These recipes are also adaptable to your palette and your local grocery store. As we mentioned in our Day 4 'Science of Ceviche' lesson, there are many suitable seafood and vegetable options for making great ceviche at home. The key is to not get discouraged about what's missing.

So be brave in the kitchen; taste and adjust along the way; and experiment with what ingredients are in season and available in your city!


SEAFOOD CEVICHE

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 lb. seafood (we used California Rockfish!)
    • 4-6 limes
    • 4-6 lemons
    • 1 orange
    • 2 jalapeño or serrano chiles
    • 1/2 medium-sized red onion
    • 1/4 cup cilantro
    • 1/2 cucumber
    • 1/2 avocado
    • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
    • Salt and pepper to taste

 

  • Process overview (for pictures and in-depth scroll down the page!):
    • 1) Prepare initial marinade herbs and vegetables:
      • Thinly slice red onion (radial cut)
      • Remove seeds and membranes from chiles; dice finely
      • Remove stems from cilantro leaves; dice finely
    • 2) Juice citrus into mixing bowl:
      • Juice 4 limes
      • Juice 4 lemons (watch out for seeds!)
      • Juice 1 orange
    • 3) Cut seafood:
      • We put our rockfish in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to firm up filet so we could slice it thin; then we cut thin slices
    • 4) Mix ingredients, add salt and pepper, then refrigerate for 25-30 minutes.
    • 5) While Ceviche is in the refrigerator, prepare finishing vegetables:
      • Peel, core and cube 1/2 of a cucumber
      • Chop 1 cup cherry tomatoes in half, lengthwise
      • Cube an avocado
    • 6) Mix finishing vegetables with ceviche mixture when 25-30 minutes are up; serve alongside tortilla chips.
      • *If you're training, we've found that thinly sliced cucumber or jicama works as a suitable, albeit lesser chip option. Or, if you have a carb allowance, a toasted corn tortilla is also a great ceviche accompaniment.   

STEP 1: Prepare marinade vegetables

   

 

 

Ceviche is a great recipe for developing your knife skills. You'll be fine-dicing the chiles and cilantro, and cutting your onion on the bias. The easiest way to get a fine onion slice is to remove the top, bottom and peel; and then cut in half lengthwise (and not crosswise!). 

Once your onion is cut in half, you can cut off a slim section at a time, leaving you with a really nice thin slice.

Most importantly, your cuts DO NOT have to be perfect. Ceviche is a rustic and unpretentious dish. So Michelin-star cuts are not necessary in this context.


STEP 2: Forearm workout. A.k.a. juicing a lot of citrus!

There are many theories about the best way to coax juice from citrus. Do you roll them on the counter? Throw them in the microwave? Or ask them politely?

The best way to get a lot of juice is actually to get your citrus to room temperature, and then to cut it lengthwise before juicing. Yes, our photos contain crosswise-sliced citrus, but hey, they make a nice photo, don't they?

Bonus forearm workout if you're juicing by hand!


STEP 3: Slice your fish.

SeafoodSlicing.jpg

There are also a lot of different theories about how best to cut seafood for ceviche. Some recipes call for cubed seafood, others suggest slices.

For maximum textural variance, we opted for slices. We also stuck our fish in the freezer for a couple minutes prior to slicing, to firm up the flesh to allow for easier slicing.


STEP 4: Mix to combine ingredients.

Mix1.jpg

The photo above shows our diced chiles, sliced onions and diced cilantro. If you were wanting to add some more vegetables other than our tomatoes, avocado and cucumber, we'd recommend heartier ones like bell peppers or corn kernels--vegetables that could stand up to a citrusy acid bath.

Make sure your fish is fully submerged in your citrus bath. Then add a pinch of salt and pepper.


STEP 5: Refrigerate Ceviche for 25-30 minutes. Mix every 10 minutes to evenly coat and submerge all proteins.


STEP 6: While ceviche is in the refrigerator, cut cherry tomatoes lengthwise; peel, core and chop cucumber; and cube avocado. After 25-30 minutes in the refrigerator, pull ceviche then combine with cucumber and tomato.


STEP 7: Plate ceviche with avocado garnish; serve alongside toasted corn tortilla, cucumber chips or atop some salad greens. 


1 Mise.jpg

VEGETABLE CEVICHE

  • Ingredients:
    • 5-7 leaves kale
    • 1 cup red and/or yellow bell pepper
    • 1/2 medium-sized red onion
    • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or canned ok)
    • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
    • 1/2 cucumber
    • 1 cup jicama
    • 4-6 limes
    • 4-6 lemons
    • 1 orange
    • 2 jalapeño or serrano chiles
    • 1/4 cup cilantro
    • 1/4 cup scallions
    • 1 tbsp. avocado or olive oil
    • 1/2 avocado
    • Salt and pepper to taste

 

  • Process overview (for pictures and in-depth scroll down the page!):
    • 1) Prepare vegetables:
      • Chop red onion
      • Remove ribs from kale, then chop
      • Core, then chop cucumber
      • Chop bell peppers
      • Cut cherry tomatoes lengthwise
    • 2) Juice citrus into mixing bowl:
      • Juice 4 limes
      • Juice 4 lemons (watch out for seeds!)
      • Juice 1 orange
    • 3) Prepare marinade:
      • Add sliced scallions and diced cilantro to juice mixture.
      • Slowly drizzle in olive oil. 
      • Add salt and pepper to taste.
    • 4) Toss marinade and vegetables.
    • 5) Plate.
      • Top salad with sliced avocado; crack some fresh pepper and add a dash of sea salt. 

STEP 1: Chop cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, kale, jicama and red onion. Combine in a bowl with corn kernels.


STEP 2: Begin marinade by dicing scallions, cilantro and seeded chiles. Add juice from 4 lemons, 4 limes and 1 orange. 


STEP 3: Slowly add avocado oil to citrus and herb mixture.


STEP 4: Add salt and pepper to your marinade, to taste (and dietary preferences).


STEP 5: Whisk marinade mixture.


STEP 6: Toss veggie mixture with marinade.


STEP 7: Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes for maximum flavor (or serve immediately for the sake of expediancy).


STEP 8: Serve with sliced avocado, lime slices and fresh cracked black pepper and a dash of sea salt.


Best of luck in all your ceviche adventures! If you feel proud of your creation, please snap a pic and take to the Kenzai blogs to tell us about your experience! 

And get ready for tomorrow's lesson, when we'll be introducing you to the wonderful world of at-home tortilla-making... yet another cooking process that is more of a simple joy than a precise science. 

Happy Ceviche Saturday, Kenzai Members!