Mexico 27 October 1997 No, unfortunately we haven't just nipped
over to Acapulco for the weekend (though now that the clocks have gone
back and the nights are drawing in so quickly we would sorely love to).
This week's recipe, however, comes from that crazy, wild Mexican resort
(well, Mexican-ish) on the Pacific seaboard. We made it for our friends,
Debbie and Steve, who have just returned to Devon after a year in Southern
Californian and who are perhaps feeling just a tad homesick for the
vivid colors and flavors of the West Coast. Indeed, the zesty, seafresh
scents of this classic, mildly spiked with jalapeño and overlayered
with the pungent flavor of cilantro, transports me back too to my childhood
days, first in Mexico where I was born and then in Southern California
where we grew up.
is supremely simple to prepare, the method of "cooking" fish in lime
juice a well-documented method enjoyed throughout Central America. We
learned this version some years ago from the chef at the Posadita Restaurant
of the Acapulco Princess Hotel and it was first published in Taste
1 lb really fresh white fish fillets (cod, haddock, sea bass, sea bream,
1/4 pt freshly squeezed lime juice (about 5 or 6 limes) wedges of avocado
and lettuce leaves to garnish
cloves, finely chopped
tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
onion, finely chopped
of fresh coarsely chopped coriander (cilantro)
green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
jalapeño chillies, finely chopped
bone the fish fillets, picking out the small bones with tweezers, if
necessary. Cut into even cubes of about 1 cm/1/2 inch. Place in a glass
or china bowl and add the lime juice. Mix well and cover with a plate.
Place in a cool area and leave to pickle, stirring from time to time
until the fish is ready. The time varies with the type of fish used,
but 6-8 hours or overnight is required for firm white fish such as cod
or sea bass. To tell when the fish is ready, crumble a cube and check
that the flesh is opaque all the way through.
the fish is marinating, prepare the ceviche sauce. Heat the olive oil
and sauté the chopped garlic briefly until it colors slightly.
Cool. Mix all the remaining sauce ingredients together. Add the cooled
garlic and oil to the sauce mixture and season to taste with salt and
the fish and add it to the sauce mixture. Mix well and chill in the
fridge. Serve in tall glasses decorated with lettuce leaves and wedges
of avocado. In Mexico, ceviche is always eaten with crackers.
or drinks suggestions:A freshly made margarita cocktail is a nice
aperitif before enjoying a bowl of ceviche. Alternatively, serve
with Mexican beer such as Sol or Dos Equis from the bottle, or with
a pungent, grassy Sauvignon from Chile.