Ceviche

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My son-in-law has promised to make me ceviche for a while – it’s one of his specialties.

So recently he lived up to his promise and made ceviche on a night when they were visiting. And, he was kind enough to allow me to document his cooking session for my blog!

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My daughter’s husband, who I’ll call “B,” first had ceviche when his family traveled to Costa Rica, and he’s been making it ever since. B refers to his version as a more Tex-Mex style, rather than Latin American. Whatever it is, it was wonderful, and worth the wait!

B has a recipe, but every time he makes it he judges the ceviche “finished product” on the amount of liquid and also the ratio of red and green. He refers to that as the colors of Christmas. Here is the “recipe.”

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B’s Ceviche

6 lemons
6 limes
4 large ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
2-3 jalapenos, diced
1/2 large white onion
Cilantro, finely chopped
1 pound cod, rinsed and dried
Tapatio sauce
Seasoning salt

B first squeezed the lemons and limes into a large baking dish.

He then chopped up the tomatoes and the jalapenos and added them to the juice in the dish.

Afterwards it looked like this:

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He then added the onions and cilantro.

Then B cut up the cod in to 1/2″ pieces and stirred it into the tomato mixture.

He added Tapatio sauce and seasoning salt, stirred, and tested it. The baking dish got covered up with plastic wrap and the ceviche was refrigerated overnight.

In the morning B drained most of the liquid from the ceviche so the vegetables don’t soften up. We had it for lunch that day.

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It’s so incredible how the citrus juices cook the fish.

I really love the jalapeno and the Tapatio sauce in B’s ceviche.

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B also served the ceviche with chips, so it was almost like a cod salsa!

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What a lovely lunch, and a fabulous time. You all know how much I love being cooked for!

Black Beans

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Everyone knows I’m enamored with beans. But there is just something about black beans that I really love. Perhaps the striking color?

Before my children were on their own, I made sure they knew how to cook beans from scratch. For one thing, beans are healthy. But they’re also extremely inexpensive, especially given the number of meals 1 pound of dried beans can provide when cooked.

Today I’m cooking beans to show how easy it is. You can eat them as is, as a side dish. But you can also turn the beans into a bean salad, a bean soup, or even refried beans – all of which will be in future posts. Plus, you can also add your cooked beans to any stew, soup, or pasta. So versatile!!!

Black beans are common in Latin American cuisines, and you’ll find them also in West African cuisines. So they’re not just for Southwestern and Mexican purposes.

All dried beans must be hydrated with water before cooking. That’s the only “rule.” In the old days, you also had to inspect the beans for stones and grit, but I haven’t had to inspect beans for years, fortunately.

Beans can be soaked in cold water overnight. But if you are in a hurry, add hot water, and the beans will be ready for cooking in two hours.


When you’re ready to start cooking, pour the soaked beans in a colander and rinse them well.

So following is my recipe for a pot of beans. Many other ingredients and also seasonings could be added, but I’m keeping the beans plain, because I am going to use them in different dishes.
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Black Beans

1 pound dried black beans, soaked, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
Broth, your choice of chicken, beef, or vegetable
Bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

Have your beans set aside in a colander.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.

Add the onions and sauté them for about 5 minutes, without much browning. Add the garlic and stir it in for about 30 seconds, then pour in the beans.


Add broth just to cover the beans. Add the bay leaf.
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Bring the beans to a boil, then cover the pot, lower the heat, and simmer the beans for about 45 minutes. I typically remove the pot from the heat, but leave the lid on to allow the beans to absorb any more liquid they need to absorb. Black beans stay whole; you won’t discover a pot of bean mash after an hour.
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If you don’t want much liquid with your beans, remove the lid and allow some of the broth to evaporate. Keep in mind, however, that you can use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked beans from the pot, avoiding the liquid. That way, you can utilize the bean broth for other purposes, like baking bean soup, for example.

Taste the beans for salt and pepper. And that’s it!

Now you can eat them as is, as a side dish. I served mine alongside a spicy pork chop, and topped the beans with some peppers and chives. Simple.

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As you can tell, the beans are fully cooked, but keep their shape.
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They have such a wonderful, meaty flavor. I really love them simply flavored. But of course, you can season beans however you wish. (see note below)

note: If you just want to make your pot of black beans more involved and flavorful, here is a list of other ingredients you can use in the above recipe:
Celery
Bell peppers, red or green
Fresh chile peppers
Adobo paste
Chipotle peppers
Canned tomatoes
Parsley
Cilantro
Seasonings like chili powder, curry powder, or a combination of Mexican seasonings such as cumin, coriander, and oregano.