Ceviche for Miss Sunshine

June 2, 2010

Admittedly, there has been some not-awesome stuff clinging, like a bitchy barnacle, to the four walls of our house. However, we are weathering through and thank-you all so much for your kind words and well-wishes. Your support has been wonderful.

Today I’m happy to share some super-awesome with you. Yep, it’s not all thunder and storm clouds over here–we’ve got serious sunshine, too. Her name is Daniela and she’s a student from Torreon, Mexico. She’s staying with us until July, touring the state and helping me keep The Minxes entertained. Her twin, Alejandra, is staying nearby, so oftentimes, we’re lucky enough to get a double dose of sunshine in our house. The Minxes are over the moon, they’re so in love.

Dani and Ale have been craving a few foods from their hometown, and I’ve been having a lot of fun trying to re-create those dishes. One of their desires has been for ceviche, a salad of raw or barely cooked seafood that’s marinated in a spicy citrus dressing. We ordered it for lunch a few days ago at a sunny Boulder cafe; as soon as we took our first bites, we knew it wasn’t going to suffice.

“There’s too much filler in there,” Dani said, squinting at the plate. “You can hardly find the fish.”

“Where’s the lime?” Ale asked. “It’s supposed to taste like lime.”

“This isn’t spicy at all!” I said. “Aren’t there supposed to be chiles in there?”

Hrumph. Clearly, in order to get this right at all, we were going to have to make it ourselves. But, ummm…I’ve never made ceviche and raw fish kind of skeebs me out.

Not that the fish is really raw once it gets to your plate; the lemon-lime dressing actually “cooks” the fish, so it’s really quite safe to eat, honest.

When searching for a go-to recipe for ceviche, I decided that I really couldn’t go wrong with Reichl. The woman in charge of Gourmet magazine (may it rest in peace) certainly isn’t a hack; she knows good food. I found this recipe for Shellfish Watermelon Ceviche in The Gourmet Cookbook, and it sounded like a winner.

Juicy watermelon, sharp chiles, lightly poached seafood, and a bright kick from orange and ginger? What’s not to like?

We scooped up bites of that lusciousness with sturdy, salty tortilla chips and basked in the accomplishment of getting it right. Sometimes, there’s nothing finer.

Shellfish Watermelon Ceviche
serves 6 as a first course

1 navel orange
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup diced (1/4-inch) seeded watermelon
1/2 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
2-3 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno or serrano chile (to taste), including seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound sea scallops, tough side muscle removed from each if necessary, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 pound large shrimp in shells, peeled, deveined, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 pound cooked lobster, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
3 small heads bibb lettuce, leaves separated (optional)

Cut and peel white pith from orange with a sharp paring knife, then cut segments free from membranes. Chop enough segments to measure 1/4 cup; discard remainder or save for another use. Combine chopped orange, orange juice, lime juice, watermelon, ginger, onion, jalapeno and salt in a large bowl and stir until combined.

Bring a 1-quart saucepan of well-salted water to a boil, then add scallops and poach at a bare simmer until just cooked through, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, transfer scallops to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Return water to a boil and add shrimp; poach at a bare simmer until just cooked through, about 1 minute. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water.

Drain scallops and shrimp well and pat dry.

Add scallops, shrimp, lobster, and mint to watermelon mixture and toss to combine, then season with salt. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Serve ceviche with lettuce leaves on the side, if desired (use a slotted spoon for transferring ceviche to leaves).

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Cheryl June 2, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Now this? This looks dee-lish!

Is it possible to use something other than scallops? We don't get along.


michelle June 2, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I think I missed something…will read back a bit. Hope things are settling down.

Ceviche. One of my favorites. We're going to Mexico this summer, and can't wait to hit the little fish huts on the beach. YUM


Belinda Munoz June 2, 2010 at 4:35 pm

When it comes to ceviche, I'd much rather eat it than prepare it. Yours looks yummy-licious.

"Bitchy barnacle" beware. (I so want to watch a cartoon of this character!)


suzicate June 2, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I've heard of ceviche but never tried it. I hate to admit that I actually thought it was a seafood soup until I just read your post. It is pretty and sounds good.


Corinne June 2, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Sounds divine!!


Jennifer June 2, 2010 at 5:16 pm

I thought all ceviche had tomatoes. I guess that tells you that I haven't had it very often.

You know something I really, really don't like besides tomatoes… watermelon. Yes really. Even the smell makes me sick.


Heather B June 2, 2010 at 5:39 pm

sounds delicious! Not so sure about the raw fish thing myself either…

Hope your bitchy barnacle meets a fantastic death soon….


Kristen @ Motherese June 2, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I swear they made a ceviche during every episode of Top Chef last season. None looked as delish as this one, though. Forget the Voltaggio brothers. TKW for Top Chef!

And down with barnacles – bitchy and otherwise!



Wendi June 2, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Oh my, that does sound lovely.


Maria June 2, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I am so pumped to try this, mainly because the fish is cooked…I too have a problem with juice the chemical cooking…

As for the bitchy barnacles, out with them…Hoping the sunshine is as radiant as ever near you, friend…


~Laura June 2, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Sounds like your summer is off to a great start! Have fun and enjoy your visitors!


becca June 2, 2010 at 6:41 pm

I love love ceviche. Thanks for this delish concoction that i will be trying. I have been sick as hell here and not on line much so I DO hope everything is ok by you. Sounds like you've had a rough week or so? In any case… hope things are getting better! xo


Fresh Local and Best June 2, 2010 at 7:28 pm

This is probably the most refreshing and exciting ceviche recipe I've ever seen. I like the touch of sweetness that comes from watermelon.


Kelly June 2, 2010 at 7:52 pm

I had to laugh at Kristen's comment. Yes, I know a lot about ceviche because of Top Chef! Actually, that and Bizarre Foods.

Anyway, yours looks delicious. I need you to come be my personal chef!


Bryan June 2, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I love love love Ceviche! Have a similar recipe the lime, watermelon and jalapenos work so well together. it is one of my favorite summertime dishes. Kind of scary (not sure for you or me) we do think alike sometimes.


Bryan June 2, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Oh sorry did I mention that I love Ceviche?


Anonymous June 2, 2010 at 8:18 pm

I love barnacles, including the bitchy ones.

The girls dressed in pink are killing me with TEH KYOOT.

Welcome Dani and Ale. If you find where Kitchy hides the valium lick, pleeez let us know. We'll be right over. And major bonus points if you find the can of Aquanet, stirrup leggings, and acidwashed jean jacket.


mo.stoneskin June 3, 2010 at 12:18 am

About 10 years ago I went to Peru for three months. I pretty much lived on ceviche, I was an addict for sure. I've missed it ever since. It is the most wonderful food, I would love to try it here but I'm scared of poisoning myself…


The Curious Cat June 3, 2010 at 3:57 am

I like the sound of this version – if you want to continue to experiment -look here – an old entry where I made it – I swear by this – it is divine! http://catofcuriosity.blogspot.com/2009/07/ceviche.html


Sarah June 3, 2010 at 4:27 am

Yummy yum yum. Love that Daniela! She's gonna save your behind this summer.

And oh how adorable are those Minxes. Even more yummy than the ceviche, to be sure!


Christine June 3, 2010 at 4:39 am

The thing about seafood is, it always sounds so good, but for me, never really is. I wish I could enjoy it, but I just can't.

What fun at your house! Okay, maybe not all fun :-(, sorry you are having a rough go. But now i'm curious for more recipes. Bring it on!


The Empress June 3, 2010 at 5:22 am

Oh, sweet memories of my grandmother..yes, you've got to get the lime and the cilantro and the garlic right…

after that…heaven.


Phoo-D June 3, 2010 at 5:23 am

Lobster, scallops, and shrimp? Awesome. This sounds incredible and perfect for summer.


Tiffany June 3, 2010 at 5:38 am

Yeah!! Bring in the summer troops!!! Would they like to see suburbia Ohio?? ;)


Maureen@IslandRoar June 3, 2010 at 5:41 am

I've never heard of it but it sounds sooo good!


C. Troubadour June 3, 2010 at 5:52 am

Thinking of you, Kitch. Wishing I had a limpet to bulldoze that barnacle right off (that's what they actually do with their razor-sharp little shells — remove barnacles!).

As for awesome girls who take care of your kids AND create opportunity for new cooking adventures, woo hoo! Ceviche sounds good right about now. It's HOT out here at Marketing Sis's place (yep, traveling again). We are so spoiled in our mountains …


elizabeth June 3, 2010 at 5:52 am

Hey you! Hope all is well, but I completely understand bitchy barnacles. I have a few of my own right now.

I'm another person who doesn't really like watermelon all that much (or really any melon, to be honest). This does look lovely, though! M made some killer ceviche earlier in the week using catfish and believe it or not it makes for an excellent ceviche fish. Go figure!


Pines Lake Redhead June 3, 2010 at 6:05 am

So glad to hear that you have a ray of sunshine in your house.

Ceviche with watermelon? Hmm… I'll have to try that. Thanks!


Lindy June 3, 2010 at 6:26 am

Bitchy Barnacle? Sounds like an effed up episode of Spongebob.


From the Kitchen June 3, 2010 at 7:45 am

One of our favorite dishes! Fortunately, Chicago has a number of restaurants that do a great job with ceviche! Enjoy the special visitor!



Sherri June 3, 2010 at 8:14 am

Will try this…. hubby is from Peru, and my mother-in-law makes a ceviche that I'm not crazy about – heavy handed in salt and heat…. this looks very refreshing….

I have some stuff hanging around like a bitchy barnacle too… glad to hear there is now some sunshine too :-).


Ink June 3, 2010 at 8:31 am

I think I missed the something not great happening. So sorry! ((((TKW)))) Going back to reread now.

When Youngest gets frustrated, he says "Barnacles!" really loudly, a la Spongebob. It makes us laugh. Maybe you can say that out loud next time stuff is bugging you? Then it will make you laugh, too?


Ink June 3, 2010 at 8:32 am

[Now back] So I missed that because I read the other post pre-update. Are you ok? I'm here, sweetie, if you want to talk!!!!!


Barbara June 3, 2010 at 8:47 am

Love ceviche and have been making it for years…but then fresh seafood is so available where I live and fresh is the operative word with ceviche! Great idea to add watermelon, I'm going to try it next time.
Glad you have some help with the kids for a while…enjoy and relax, if you can!


Gale @ Ten Dollar Thoughts June 3, 2010 at 10:04 am

Never would have occured to me to do ceviche at home. Perhaps I'll have to man up and do it! Thanks for the recipe.

(Is Miss D getting awfully tall??)


Terry Castle June 3, 2010 at 10:10 am




Good Enough Woman June 3, 2010 at 10:36 am

Yay for the added sunshine! And may I say YUM about the ceviche and the last post on the tomato bread. And just happen to HAVE some prosiutto right now AND good tomatoes. I might have to pick the rest up at the store today! I'm so glad it summer so that I finally have time to try some Kitchen Witch recipes!

Hang in there with the barnacles, dearie.


Aging Mommy June 3, 2010 at 12:40 pm

OK now I know what good ceviche should be all about, this sounds wonderful and I hope the barnacles are being swiftly eradicated!


Jane June 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm

You're speaking of Ruth Reichl, right? I loved her book Garlic and Sapphires. You simply must read it if you haven't already!


Jen June 3, 2010 at 5:04 pm

I hope everything is okay at your end…….thinking about ya!


Velva June 3, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Ceviche is so good. We have a friend who loves to fish ( maybe, not for much longer along the Florida coast as the oil just continues to spew) I digress, he catches fresh fish makes ceviche right on his boat.

Looks like you have a full-house. Enjoy.


theUngourmet June 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm

I'd love to give this a try but I don't know if I would be brave enough to make it . Such a cute photo of your girls with your house guest! I missed what's going on over your way. I'm off to find out! ;)


www.privilegeofparenting.com June 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm

I felt like I was tasting summer as I read… and sending all good wishes.


Linda Pressman June 3, 2010 at 11:07 pm

I love that all three of you knew something was wrong with that restaurant's ceviche! It looks delicious! And glad someone's keeping the minxs happy and occupied!


grace June 4, 2010 at 2:35 am

i won't lie–even heat-cooked seafood skeebs me out, so ceviche is something i'll just admire with my eyes. :)
hope those clouds clear up soon!


Gibby June 4, 2010 at 6:42 am

Yum, I love ceviche, but I usually pair mine with a margarita. Is that bad? Anyhow, welcome to your new friends!


Justine June 4, 2010 at 7:50 am

Scallops and ceviche – two of my favorites. It's great that you made this for the girls. And how fun it must be to host a little girl from another country and to show her around. Makes you see things with new eyes doesn't it?
p.s. LOVE Boulder. If we're lucky, we'll move there someday.


SoccerMom June 4, 2010 at 9:45 am

Sounds s u p e r YUMMY!


girlichef June 4, 2010 at 11:00 am

What a wonderful experience and opportunity for your whole family and for your little ray of sunshine!! I'd love to be able to do this one day. And your ceviche…drool!! :P"""

(ps…go w/ Tres Leches! The MexChoc cake is delicious, but tres leches is totally a bday cake!! imho).


Leslie June 5, 2010 at 5:56 am

I just watched Ruth Reichl make ceviche on Diary of a Foodie. Yum. We don't have much Peruvian food here, but plenty of really good Mexican food, and we love ceviche – pronounced by Uncle Dave as civichee.
Maybe all that citric acid will temper the barnacles, too?


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