The best way to remain healthy while eating amazing food and not feeling deprived is by far, in my personal opinion, making salads with all the right components. Light protein, textured vegetables or greens, and a tangy sweet seasoning. Or, my other favorite way is to make a hearty variation of Ceviche, as in this case.
Ceviche doesn't require a methodical step-by-step process. Its flexibility makes the possibilities endless and as long as citrus and seafood is heavily involved, the rest is really up to you. I remember the first time I had a proper Ceviche. It was my first, my last, and my only true love when it came to this amazing dish. This particular Peruvian restaurant nestled in the heart of Costa Mesa had opened my eyes to a whole different world of seafood--not that that was necessary to begin with. The citrus flavors melded ever so perfectly with the heavy variety of fish, and the textured quality of the vegetables rendered a magical crunch within each bite. If I could romanticize a savory dish for days on end, this would be the one.
While searching for the perfect Ceviche bowl outside of home, I haven't really tried one that was up to par to my first experience. I set out to make it a goal to make this dish strong and aromatic; a textural punch was a must, and of course, it needed to be a rainbow of all kinds of colors. To complement this amazing dish I highly recommend trying it with a taco bowl. You may of course purchase it at the store, or more simply, you can make it in the comfort of your own kitchen without the fuss of deep frying. But that's perfectly fine too, if that's your thing.
Although the methods are many, I personally love to use my old fluted cake pan which I found at the thrift store. It even holds the shape of a fluted taco bowl, and to boot, I don't even need to add extra fat or oil to bake it. Please give this a go and let me know your thoughts! I'm certain it will make the perfect addition to your picnic menu on this hot, blistering summer.
Shrimp Ceviche with Yellow Nectarine, and a Homemade Taco Bowl
Makes 4 appetizer servings
2 lbs. raw jumbo shrimp, deveined
1/4 of an onion, chopped
1/2 of a green bell pepper
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered (or other kind)
1 firm yellow nectarine, chopped
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 - 2 tsp kosher salt, preferred taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
juice of 4-5 limes, preferred taste
4 large flour tortillas
1. Peel the raw shrimp and quickly rinse with cold water. Boil filtered water in a medium pot, then bring the heat down to a simmer, and cook the peeled shrimp for approximately 3-4 minutes. Try to keep an eye on the shrimp so they don't overcook. We want the flesh to be thoroughly cooked, yet tender and chewy.
2. Drain the water from the pot and run the shrimp under cold filtered water along with ice cubes. Pat the shrimp dry and chop into even cubes.
3. In a large serving bowl, mix the shrimp and the rest of the ingredients thoroughly. Make sure you season it to your preferred taste. I personally love it a bit on the saltier and tangier side. Refrigerate while you move on to make the taco bowls.
4. In a small (approximately 4-5 inch) fluted cake pan (easily found at many thrift stores), place the flour tortilla gently pressing down to the bottom. Bring the sides of the tortilla to the side of the pan and shape it according to the shape of the pan. Bake at 400F degrees (204 degrees celsius) for about 3-5 minutes, making sure the ends don't tan too much. One method I will try next is to put pieces of foil over the edges of the tortilla.
5. Let the tortilla cool down in the pan for 5 minutes, then gently take it out and it will hold its shape automatically. It should be crispy and sturdy. Fill with Ceviche and enjoy!