Do you ever feel like the week leading up to vacation everything seems to get especially crazy? Matt and I are planning an extended weekend road trip up the coast to Oregon for the 4th of July and I’ve found this week to be insanely busy (not that I’m not used to being busy). Things are finally winding down and my big to-dos include packing (last minute, as per usual), making sandwiches and printing out pages and pages of fantastic recommendations that I got through Facebook, Twitter, email and word of mouth about things to do. If you’ve got any last minute ‘must-try’ ideas that we absolutely shouldn’t miss, please leave them in the comments section!
Now, on to the food. Specifically, food that doesn’t require ovens. Nicole left a comment on my last post saying that she appreciated my asparagus salad as it didn’t require turning on the oven during a heat wave. Quite frankly, I’ve forgotten what that sort of heat feels like (you know the kind where you feel like no matter how many times a day you take a shower, you will always look like you need another?) In any case, while intense heat hasn’t overtaken the Bay Area, I still like the idea of cooking without cooking.
Ceviche is quite possibly one of the easiest, most impressive things anyone can make. The brilliance of ceviche lies in its use of citric acid from limes to actually ‘cook’ the fish, killing dangerous bacteria. It’s fascinating to watch raw fish firm up and turn an opaque white color in a matter of hours (or in this case, less than two). There are three key ingredients to any ceviche: fish (or seafood), lime juice and chile or jalapeno peppers. Everything else is really up to you. For this particular take, I chose to incorporate one of my favorite tropical fruits–mango (though the original recipe called for papaya). I also highly recommend marinating the onion with the fish (as opposed to adding it in later). The results? Perfection. If you have some light, thin tortillas or chips, you could use them to scoop up your ceviche. This goes perfectly with a glass of crisp white wine or rose on a hot summer day. Happy 4th of July weekend, everyone! Be safe and be merry!
adapted from Cooking for Friends
*serves 4-6 as a starter
1 pound of fresh snapper, deboned and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup of freshly-squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
1/2 ripe mango, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of chopped flat-leaf parsley
sea salt, to taste
1. Combine the fish with the lime juice, orange juice, red onion and sea salt in a large glass bowl. Stir to coat the fish with the juices and season with additional sea salt.
2. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and stir occasionally for about an hour to hour and twenty minutes, until the fish is uniformally opaque.
3. Drain off most of the liquid in the bowl, then stir in the mango and diced jalapeno pepper.
4. Season with additional sea salt, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with parsley.
Musical Pairings: Best of 2010 (so far)
Twenty-ten has proven to be a pretty fantastic year for music so far, and with half of the year already behind us, I decided it was time to put together my list of the best of 2010 so far. Let me know what I missed, what I overrated, what I underrated, or what I got just right. Perhaps more importantly, download a cut or two from bands/albums you haven’t heard yet – maybe you’ll find something you like. Head over to Musical Pairings to download selections from my favorites of 2010 (and make yourself some ceviche…it’s summer folks!) –Matthew