Ceviche

Ceviche

Sand castles

Summer barbecue contribution

I first made this ceviche to bring to a friend's hot-dog and marshmallow roast, a few summers ago. It's a great appetizer to bring to a party, where a lot of people can share it. Ceviche's too much trouble to make just for your family, and too intense to have for dinner, but it's nice to have a little and share the rest with friends. If you make these terrific crackers too, to eat the ceviche on, you'll definitely have a winner.

How to make Ceviche:

Heat a medium-sized frying pan on high heat. Put 5 unpeeled cloves of garlic and 2 or 3 fresh serrano chili peppers in the frying pan, without any oil or anything, and roast them for about 10-15 minutes, turning them so they get browned on all sides. Take them out of the pan, turn off the heat, and let the peppers and garlic cool, then peel the garlic and cut the stems off the peppers.

In a food processor, puree the garlic and peppers with a cup of cilantro leaves, a cup of parsley, 1/2 cup of olive oil, and 2 teaspoons of salt. It will make a thick green paste. Refrigerate this mixture in a medium-sized bowl.

Cut up 1 1/2 pounds of raw halibut (or cod, which is cheaper but not as good) into bite-size pieces. Also cut up a peeled cucumber into pieces about the same size. Take the green paste out of the refrigerator and add 1/2 cup of lime juice to it. Mix and then add the fish and the cucumber, stir, then cover the bowl and refrigerate it again for about an hour. After an hour, cut up two avocados into small pieces and add them to the ceviche. Chill and serve with crackers or bread.

If after an hour the fish still seems to be raw (pink) instead of cooked by the lime juice (white), you can add more lime juice.

Vegetarian or vegan?

Ceviche is based on fish, so it's not vegetarian. You can make this vegan by using tofu in place of the fish. If you choose to do that, cut extra-firm tofu into 1-inch cubes, spread the cubes out on a baking sheet, and bake them at 400 F for half an hour, turning them once. Let them cool before adding them to the ceviche.

And will ceviche keep?

You can eat ceviche for a couple of days afterwards, if you keep it in the refrigerator. After that, I'd be nervous about the quality of the fish.