My younger son Dan has been accepted to veterinary school in California. I couldn’t be prouder of his efforts. He has worked hard and long for this opportunity, and now he will be working even harder and longer for the next four years. It takes a special kind of person to commit to this kind of education. So, I wanted to take this occasion to applaud him. Way to go, Dan!
He came to stay for a few days on his way from Colorado to California, with his best pal, Lyla the Dog, and all his worldly possessions stuffed into his SUV. I welcomed them with open arms and The Important Question: “What can I cook for you?”
As you may have read in previous posts, one of the ways I like to bless my family on special occasions is to ask them to choose a menu, and then I make it for them. This was certainly a special occasion, and this time Dan requested Tuna Ceviche and Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. I decided to add bruschetta and salad courses to round out the menu. And, Dan happy with the plan.
When I do more than a couple of courses for a meal, I always cut down the portion sizes of each. The point of multiple courses is to get to have tastes of many of flavors, so it’s almost “tapas” style. Also, when I offer a longer menu I like to use a theme ingredient that subtly runs through all the dishes. Now if you watch the Food Network, most of the chefs balk at such an idea, but I think it’s fun and interesting to discover how a single ingredient changes or enhances when it is used in different ways. So, watch for it in all the dishes! I’ll share the menu recipes over the next few posts.
This Tuna Ceviche has become one of my “go-to” recipes – bright tasting and perfect in summer when avocados are at their creamy best. It seems to be right up there with my family’s requests for Cornflake Chicken, Lamb Shanks and Mushroom Pork Chops.
The inspiration for this recipe came from one I found in Food & Wine a couple of years ago. It is substantial in size (serves 6 people) so if you make it for fewer, cut the portion sizes of ingredients. Marinated fish is best eaten immediately – not good for leftovers. Though … I have to say that I have Never had even had an inkling of leftovers with this dish. In fact, when I served it this time, my husband, Michael, and Dan literally scooped up the marinade juice with spoons and cleaned the serving dish down to the last drop. I am totally serious!
1 lb. sushi grade tuna, sliced and diced into ¼ inch cubes*
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (approximately 4 – 6 limes)
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1 large avocado, diced into cubes
½ t garlic powder
½ t onion powder
½ t kosher or Hawaiian sea salt
⅓ cup coarsely chopped cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
A note* – To cut the tuna in cubes, first make sure it is cold or even freeze it for 10 to 15 minutes so it is easy to work with. Slice the fish lengthwise into ¼ inch steaks and then cube.
Place tuna and onion in a glass or ceramic pan. Add lime juice and pepper, and mix well. Try to have the tuna layered so that all the meat is at least partly submerged in lime juice. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours, stirring the mixture every 15 to 20 minutes. The tuna will change color slightly, which is what you want, as it means the juice is “cooking” the fish. (The citric acid in the juice alters the structure of the proteins in the fish.)
Just prior to serving, add the diced avocado, seasonings and cilantro. Mix gently.
Initially I like to serve individual portions, accompanied by a few tortilla chips, and then put the remaining ceviche on the table with a big bowl of chips and let everyone dig in as they please.
I offered a nice glass (or 2) of Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (one of my favorite summer wines) with this dish. Amazing!
This is the first of four courses I’ll be sharing, so don’t forget to visit me again for the rest! In the meantime …
Eat well. Be happy.