Well, we made it through another SXSW. That’s South-By-Southwest. Or “South-By” as we locals call it.
John’s good friend Charlie (they’re basically brothers) came to stay with us during the main music weekend. Charlie lives in the midwest, so I wanted to serve him something very “Austin, Texas” for dinner on Friday night.
To me, nothin’ says Austin like an ice-cold margarita. Rocks. And salt, please.
And to go along with all the salt and lime and happiness: ceviche.
With the warm sunshine and crisp spring air, the combination was perfect. Or as Charlie said, in his slightly-Italian-mob-boss / slightly-midwestern accent: “Fun-tastic.”
Makes 6 cups
As John and I discovered on our honeymoon, ceviche comes in all different combinations. Our hotel had a ceviche bar just a few steps from the beach, with at least eight different types available every day. Although we haven’t been back to Mexico lately, we still enjoy ceviche in Austin at some of our favorite haunts (Taco Deli, Las Palomas, Fonda San Miguel). With a very hot summer on the way, I am determined to try some new variations. For now, this fabulously simple recipe is a great place to start.
2 lbs. fresh fish (bones and skin removed), cut into small pieces
2 cups lime juice
1 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
2 cups finely chopped tomato
2 cups finely chopped white onion
1 jalapeño, finely diced
Pinch of dried oregano
For serving: Avocado, cilantro, tortilla chips or fried whole corn tortillas, lime wedges, jalapeños
For the fish, use the freshest fish you can find. I used black drum, red snapper, and Gulf shrimp in this batch. If in doubt, ask your fish monger for suggestions.
Be sure to cut up the fish in small pieces. (There’s nothing worse than a big slab of fish in ceviche.)
Ditto on the cilantro, onions, and tomatoes. Everything should be small, so you can get a little bit of everything in each bite.
Place the fish in a Pyrex bowl. Add lime juice. The juice should cover the fish entirely. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until fish is white and opaque, about 4 hours.
Remove bowl from refrigerator. Drain off about 1/4 of the lime juice. Add cilantro, tomato, onion, jalapeño, salt, and oregano. Toss to combine.
Using a slotted spoon, serve ceviche in individual bowls with chips, or in portions on top of fried corn tortillas. Garnish with avocado, cilantro, lime wedges, and jalapeños.