by Helana Brigman | July 12, 2011 7:00 am
When my friend Heather was visiting from South Carolina, I learned to watch her eat. No matter where we were eating–a local haunt in New Orleans, or a college bar in Baton Rouge–she always picked something off the menu I never would have tried. And? Well, AND it was delicious.
On her last night in town, we enjoyed the always too good to be true 2 for 1 margarita night at Serrano’s while a country duo of middle-aged men blared music too loud on the patio. I could barely hear my dinner companions in between Hootie and the Blowfish covers, but it didn’t seem to matter. There wasn’t much I could say in between mouthfuls of fresh salsa, warm tortillas, the tequila, and this clearly delicious Ceviche.
Ceviche is a popular coastal South American dish marinated in citrus juices and spicy peppers. It’s equal parts tangy and spicy being cooked in the strangest of ways: because of the high content of citric acids, raw fish like red snapper or cod literally “cook” in the juices over a period of several hours. You can perhaps see this process best with red snapper–the fish will transform before your eyes from a bright pink to a pale opaque white color. With cod, not so much, but the science behind the cooking is still pretty cool.
Serve this easy South American classic cold or hot with warm tortillas, avocado, and fresh cilantro for a new addition to any burrito night.
This recipe is my own adaptation of a Mexican classic–I substitute cod for red snapper fillets (much easier to find in New Orleans, but not so much in Baton Rouge). The result is a healthy, hardy fish tossed with fresh tomatoes, red onions, and meaty avocado. So clearly delicious….
* 1 lb fresh cod or red snapper fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces and deboned
* 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (usually 2 small limes)
* 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (usually 1 regular size lemon)
* 1 cup tomatoes, seeded & diced
* 2 jalapeño peppers, diced fine (note: keep seeds for a spicier variation of this recipe)
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning or oregano
Serve with Cilantro, Avocado, and warm tortillas
1.) Cut cod into 1-inch pieces and add to a non-reactive glass pan (I use my reliable Pyrex dish). Seed and dice tomatoes and jalapeno. Add to fish. For a spicier alternative, you can keep the seeds from the jalapenos…just make sure you know what you’re doing!
2.) Squeeze 1 lemon and 2 limes (both will yield about 1/4 cup juice depending on size) into pan. Season with salt, cayenne, and Italian seasoning or oregano and mix to combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. If using red snapper, you can literally see the fish react in the pan and “cook” over this period.
Serve hot or cold with avocado, cilantro, and warm tortillas as a chip and dip appetizer or main course.*
If serving hot, warm ceviche mixture in a non-stick skillet until hot and fish is cooked.
Enjoy! Makes 2 servings
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