Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche

July 30, 2010


Appetizers, Basics, Dinner, Fall, Fish, Lunch, Recipes, Seasons, Side Dishes, Spring, Summer, Winter

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This blog post is an apology, and an attempt to explain that I really can cook a main dish. I am so sorry that I only ever post about salads, sides and baked goods. You must think I have a really, really strange diet. Although the assumption is not entirely untrue, I must tell you that a lot more goes on in my kitchen than cookies and slaws. Typically, dinner involves some kind of protein and a side-dish or two, typically unrelated to those I post about.  The problem is, my blog is entirely diurnal. (Joy! I was riding in the back seat of a car last night, thinking about how much I love that word and how little I use it.) What could that possibly mean, if a person cooks and eats at night? How could her food blog be so dependant on the daytime? It’s the sun.

When this blog was young, before I bought myself a respectable camera, I took pictures with a teensy point and shoot, whose viewfinder is so small it looks like a postage stamp. I want to take it to Goodwill, but the camera is covered in sticky crumbs and has butter in all of its metallic creases, so I’ve kept it. I moved on to a fancier point and shoot for a while there–one with a ‘food’ setting–but then I started reading other food blogs and realized that my photos were an absolute embarrassment. They’re still here because I am sentimental and want my great, great grandchildren to have access to all accounts of my cookery, just in case they’re curious about what a dead relative was like. Honestly, though, I blush at the idea of anyone looking at food pictures I took before May, 2009. This will probably be funny to read in the year 2109, so laugh it up little ones, if you’re out there.

But to those of you who read other incredible blogs, like 101 Cookbooks, Orangette, or Smitten Kitchen, please don’t judge me for my bizarre recipe choices. After all, I’m only doing my best to keep up with the caliber of food photography out there–and to do so, I must shoot by day. I’ve tried to hard to make more elegant lunches, but frankly, people don’t typically come over for lunch. Cooking up a grand meal for 1 in the middle of the day is a sad idea indeed. I’d rather throw cold leftovers onto a bed of lettuce and eat in a much less depressing fashion. This is why full-out, gorgeous pieces of meat and fish are rare appearances here at Bread & Courage. I’d even venture to say that whatever recipes do involve warm proteins are remnants of my point and shoot days, before I realized that big, white flash patches are not all that appetizing.


In that respect, I guess, this post isn’t really a departure from what I’ve been up to. After all, Ceviche is cold–and as old as a leftover. But it is at least a leftover worth writing about, since its extended time in the refrigerator is what makes the dish so worthwhile. I had never made Ceviche before this week, but I will never be intimidated again.  The possibility of eating (or feeding) raw fish is pretty frightening, and I’ve always wondered if I’d botch the marinating process or buy bum fish. (Although I suppose if I fully believed that, I would stop eating at dive-y sushi joints.) But really, my own hand in it is what scares me most. It still does, I’ll have you know, but not because of the cooking process.

Ceviche takes care of itself, and is refreshingly uncomplicated–especially if you use a fork or wear rubber gloves. The only qualm I have (which is entirely preventable!) is that Ceviche can make you smell–strongly–like a fishmonger. You’ll need at least 8 limes for this recipe, and I suggest buying a couple of lemons, too, so that you can vigorously scrub your fingertips after you’ve chopped and mixed the fish. When you serve it later, please have hearty chips or forks alongside so that your guests won’t go home cursing your recipe. And DO NOT send it with your husband as a ‘snack’ at the office. These warnings should by no means be a turn off: Ceviche is too delicious to shy away from either for its raw-ness or for its scent. Just marinate it for a solid 8-12 hours (I let mine sit a full day)… and be sure it’s not served as finger food.

I like Ceviche full of chopped herbs and vegetables, although you can leave out the extras and serve it as plain as you like. I also used a 1:1 ratio of scallops and shrimp, although comparably-sized pieces of white fish or calamari are also delicious.*  Either way, be sure that the fish is swimming in juice–if any pieces are exposed, squeeze more lime, or shake the bowl every few hours to ensure that all of the fish gets ‘cooked.’

Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche

Serves 2-3 as a main course

1/2 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, chopped

1/2 lb scallops, cleaned and chopped

2 stalks celery, diced

1/4 c cilantro, finely chopped

1/4 c parsley, finely chopped

1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 c  cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quarters

2 green onions, diced

1/2 Serano pepper, finely diced (about 1 T)

1/2 cup lime juice (about 8-10 limes)

salt and pepper


Squeeze limes to render 1/2 c lime juice.

Place fish in a bowl with a lid, large enough to accommodate all of the other ingredients.

Pour lime juice over fish and let sit 8-12 hours at a minimum, although preferably longer.

1 hour before serving, drain half of the lime juice and add chopped vegetables and herbs.

Season to taste just before serving.

*It goes without saying that if you decide to add more fish to the recipe, you’ll need to add enough lime to keep the ratio of lime juice to fish the same.

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