Ceviche

 

PERUVIAN CEVICHE Ceviche is a national dish of Peru. Originally created by fishermen as a way to eat part of their catch during long days at sea, ceviche uses the acid in lime juice to "cook" the fish. One theory suggests that the Ceviche got its name from the Quechua word "siwichi." However, it is more likely that the name is a cognate of the Spanish word "escabeche" (marinade), derived from the Arabic term "sikbaj." Another theory suggests that its name comes from the word Cebo, the name given to the Corvina fish by black Peruvians. The ceviche itself derives from many different cultures that settled in Peru. In ancient Peru, the Mochica prepared a similar dish using a fermented liquid from a local fruit called "tumbo." During the time of the Inca Empire, the plate was bathed in chicha. Later, with the arrival of the Spaniards, lemons and onions (classic Mediterranean ingredients) were added to the marinade recipe. Moreover, some variations of the dish have a distinct Japanese culinary influence. A mix of all these things is what made the original dish. INGREDIENTS 1 1/4 pounds fish fillets (sea bass, sole, or flounder), cut on the bias into 1-inch dice 1 quart water, boiled and chilled 1 red onion, cut in lengthwise and sliced thin 1 aji amarillo, rib and seeds removed, diced 1 clove garlic Salt and pepper 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro leaves 2 ears corn, cut in 1 sweet potato, sliced 1/4-inch thick 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 head butter lettuce Japanese seaweed, for garnish METHOD Have grill pre-greased and preheated to medium-high. Place fish in a non-reactive bowl. Add 3 cups of chilled water to fish and rinse gently. Drain water. Add onions to remaining chilled water and let soak. Meanwhile, place aji, garlic, and pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle. Grind to make a paste. Combine fish, lime and lemon juices, aji and garlic paste, salt, pepper, and cilantro. Let marinate for 10 minutes. Brush corn and sweet potato slices with oil and place on grill. Cook about 10 minutes. When ready to serve, divide fish ceviche among 4 lettuce cups and top with onion slices. Serve with grilled corn and sweet potato slices and garnish with Japanese seaweed, if desired. AND FINALLY... I am still in the newborn mode, so here's one for you. Deep In the back woods of Tennessee, a hillbilly's wife went into labor in the middle of the night, and the doctor was called out to assist in the delivery. Since there was no electricity, the doctor handed the father-to-be a lantern and said, "Here. You hold this high so I can see what I am doing." Soon, a baby boy was brought into the world. "Whoa there," said the doctor, "Don't be in such a rush to put that lantern down. I think there's another one coming." Sure enough, within minutes he had delivered a baby girl. "Hold that lantern up, don't set it down there's another one!" said the doctor. Within a few minutes he had delivered a third baby. "No, don't be in a hurry to put down that lantern, it seems there's yet another one coming!" cried the doctor. The redneck scratched his head in bewilderment, and asked the doctor, "You reckon it might be the light that's attractin' 'em?