Ceviche With Love
During college, I dated a young lady who lived out here in California. I would fly out to visit her between quarters, and she’d expose me to new adventures that we didn’t have growing up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She also lived in Glendale at the time and it was HOT AF!! One day we got in the car and headed out of that valley and ventured into the cooler (temperature and vibe) Hollywood area and she suggested that we try this place that specialized in ceviche. I didn’t know what that was, but I was willing to follow her lead. Awwww, the power of love…or making thereof.
We’re there, but I have questions. I figure out how they “cook” things, with the acid of the citrus. Nope, that’s not cooked in my brain. I understand the science, but…nope. This is where you ask “yeah, but what sushi, Jeff”. Then I reply, “nope”. I know some of you are now questioning whether I’m actually human. “First coffee and now sushi? How does he even survive?”
I will say that I learned how to eat at a sushi restaurant. This is important for normal socializing in Los Angeles. You don’t know wasabi with your friends if you don’t eat with them. My secret is that I only order things with shrimp, crab, and lobster. It’s not because I have a secret vendetta against crustaceans, although they do strike me as rather rude and untrustworthy. It’s because, at least in the US, those things must be cooked, or in some cases, at least blanched. There is a bacteria that can live between the shell and the meat of the critter. The citrus won’t kill it. Thus, I know that if I’m eating the shelled jewels from the bottom of the sea, that they have been introduced to heat before I eat them.
Clearly, at the restaurant, I went with the shrimp ceviche, and it was good. As I do with things that I like, I figured out how to make my own. It’s not too difficult and because I use cooked shrimp, I don’t have to wait for the fruit to cook it.
It has been HOT AF this week in SoCal, so I got inspired to do put this together. One day, I’ll make a video of it, but I was on a mission today. I marched up Trader Joe’s and got most of what I wanted. I could not find bunches of cilantro nor tomatoes, so I popped across the street for those. At TJ, I picked up the shrimp, jalapenos, red onion, an orange, 3 limes and 2 lemons, and the tortilla chips.
Once home, I posted my last post about the Brussels sprouts and meatballs thing. But like, after that…
* I put the frozen shrimp in some cool water and started on the knife work.
* I cut up the fruit and the peppers and chopped the cilantro. Diced the tomatoes and the onion.
* When the shrimp thawed, I got rid of the water
* I seasoned the shrimp with cayenne and garlic powder and even some Cajun seasoning. I’m not afraid to mix cultures.
* In with the juices of all the citrus. In with the chopped vegetables. I have to stop here and take a stand;. The innocent looking tomatoe knows that it is a fruit, but we have allowed it to impersonate a vegetable for far too long. I don’t trust them. They are only here for their moisture.
* Mix it up and let the variety of goodness choreograph the flavor dance that will happen later, in your mouth.
* After letting it sit for awhile on the counter, I add some salt and Valentina or Tapatio.
* Mix more and put in the fridge.
Next I turn on Michigan vs Notre Dame game and watch my beloved Wolverines play to a nice lead. At halftime, I get to the fridge and serve myself a nice bowl of the ceviche and a bag of tortilla chips. I lovingly shove scoop after scoop of tortilla topped with the perfect choreographed blend of YUM, down my throat, in a sort of line dance.
Michigan continues their domination over Notre Dame, ending in a solid victory. All is well.
With sport fan pride and full belly, I think about that ex of mine. She’s the only ex that I’m still friends with, actually. We don’t see each often, but I’ll have to message her about this post. We can also plan our once every couple of years dinner at this cool Thai place on Sunset. It’s called Toi and if you are in LA, I recommend it!!
Back to the ceviche – do any of you make it? Have you braved cooking fish with acid??