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Ceviche: freshen up your summer get-togethers
While the mild climate of Peru, where ceviche was invented, makes it a popular dish all year round, it's summer in North America when ceviche really shines. While the dish is actually not that complicated to make, some may be too intimidated to make it at home - but it's a good (and hearty) cold first dish for those warm summer afternoons and evenings. In this article we'll give you some simple tips to help you put your first one together.
Type of fish
You want to pick white ocean fish with semi-firm flesh, like sea or striped bass, sole, flounder, or grouper. Oily fish like tuna or bluefish are not good choices, nor are freshwater fish like catfish or trout.
Condition of the fish
Ideally, you should buy the fish on the day you plan to use it. That will keep it fresh, and make sure you try to keep it cold in transportation from wherever you bought it back to where you'll be working with it. Remember that fresh fish smells like the ocean or fresh water - it doesn't smell "fishy." If you aren't used to working with fish, ask for bones and the bloodline to be removed for you when you buy it.
Tomatoes, green onions, celery, peppers, and, of course, avocado, are among the most popular ingredients to add to your fish of choice. In your prep make sure to cut the ingredients into similar sizes, as that will make marinating and eating much simpler.
Combining and serving
So there are lots of ceviche recipes you can try, depending on what ingredients you are most interested in, but it's important to make sure of two things while you're putting everything together:
- the ceviche is "cooked" by curing in citrus juices, like lemon, lime, and even orange juices. You will want to cure your fish for at least 20 minutes in this mixture, but not more than an hour, as the fish will start to really break down.
- wait until the final 30 minutes before serving before you combine your citrus-cured fish with the seasoned and lightly oiled ingredients that you've chosen to accompany them.
While it's important for gents to have go-to dishes that they can do blindfolded, all those dishes started with that uncomfortable first preparation, and ceviche is simple enough that after a few tries, it may become part of your repertoire.
Have you made ceviche before? Any tips you want to share, please do so in the comments below.
About Ben Davis
A serial entrepreneur, Ben Davis is founder of The Gents Place and a leading investor in gentlemen's refinement and confidence.
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