Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ecuadorian Ceviche

I've known for a while that, in Ecuador, popcorn is a traditional garnish for ceviche. However, I've never tried this unorthodox combination for myself, and figured I'd give it a whirl. Admittedly, I have a standby ceviche recipe from which I rarely deviate (this one, but I substitute sushi-grade tuna for the scallops). After some hunting around, I settled on a recipe from Maricel Presilla that I found in Food & Wine. Though a traditional garnish could also be corn nuts (maize cancha) or boiled corn kernels (choclo), I stuck to lightly salted popcorn with a chili seasoning (recipe). Just be sure that whatever popcorn you use does not have butter flavoring.

I substituted 1/2 lb squid for 1/2 lb of the shrimp. Additionally, be sure to rinse the onions after steeping them in boiled water; otherwise they will be much too salty. I think that the dish would have been prettier had I used yellow bell pepper instead of red, though there was some yellow in the salad I served alongside. Oh, and I would've inverted the proportions of orange and lime.

Finally, because apparantly sparkling white wine goes well with ceviche, I bought my favorite not-Champagne: a $7.99 bottle of Cristalino Cava. I think that even cheap Cavas blow Champagne out of the water!

Not sure if anyone reads this blog, but if any foodies are stopping by, tell me in the comments -- what's your favorite way to make ceviche?


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