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!

Sous Vide Redfish

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There’s a really good reason that I don’t often cook fresh fish. There’s no fish where I live. Not edible fish, at least.

The closest fish source is the Gulf Coast, 700 land miles due south. Sure, some fish and seafood is flown in frozen at my grocery store, but not surprisingly, it’s not that great.

But I do have a friend whose husband fishes around the world. After the fish are caught, they’re immediately cleaned, vacuum sealed, and frozen. And this special friend shares fish with me!

I’ve posted on red fish/redfish before, thanks to this same friend. It’s a unique fish with large scales, and it’s recommended that the fish is cooked skin down, and served the same way. Sort of like on the “half shell.”

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But Stefan from Stefan Gourmet has been trying to convince me to sous vide white fish, and this is a perfect opportunity to try out this technique.

I tried to convince him previously that when I cook fish, I make sure to make it moist and tender. Which is basically trying to convince him that I don’t overcook fish. But then he says the sous vide actually creates a protein that is even more moist and tender. Because he is my sous vide go-to expert, I know he’s right. If you need basic information and lots of sous vide recipes, please refer to his blog.

If you don’t own a sous vide, follow the directions for cooking the fish from my other redfish post

And if you don’t own a sous vide, do consider one. I own a demi version, which is half the size of the non-commercial standard size, and plenty big for most everything. It was also half the price.
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Honestly, the machine is a miracle worker. My favorite thing to do with it is to sous vide both brisket and flank steak. These are both meats I never loved, and yet, once the sous vide process is over, the meat is like filet mignon. Chicken breasts are great in the sous vide as well.

According to my girlfriend, Creole flavors lend themselves to redfish. I’m also serving the fish with a fun mayo. Here’s what I did.
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Sous Vide Redfish with a Spicy Mayo

Redfish filets
Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning*
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for the spicy mayo:
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon Creole mustard
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1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
Pinch of salt
Chopped parsley, chives, or tarragon

To sous vide the fish, set your machine at 50 degrees C or 122 degrees F.

Rinse and dry the fish on paper towels. Season generously with Creole seasoning.


Vacuum seal the fish.
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Sous vide the fish for 20 minutes.
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For safety purposes, place the package of fish in an ice bath for about 10 minutes, then refrigerate.
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To make the mayo, place an egg yolk in a small bowl. Whisk the egg yolk until it’s smooth. A little whisk works wonders for a small amount of mayo.

Begin drizzling a little olive owl slowly into the bowl, while continuing to whisk.

Continue in this manner until the mayo is the consistency of heavy cream.
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Once it has thickened, pour the rest of the oil into the mayo while still whisking. Af this point, it will be the consistency of mayonnaise.
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Add the garlic, mustard, salt and cayenne pepper. As it is, the mayo can be refrigerated for a few days.


To serve the fish with the , warm the fish and the mayo close to room temperature.

Remove the fish from the plastic and place the filets on paper towels. Dry off the fish. Place the fish in a baking pan large enough so there is no overlap. Drizzle a little olive oil over the filets or, if you prefer, add a dab of butter to each filet.

Broil the fish just until it gets some color. Meanwhile stir the chopped parsley into the mayonnaise.
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Serve the fish with a dollop of the spicy mayo.
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After a little broiling, I sprinkled a little hot paprika over the fish for a bit more color.


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So was it even more tender and moist from the sous vide? Honestly, I can’t imagine this fish even more perfect than it was! Thanks, Stefan!
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* You don’t have to use a seasoning mixture, but a friend recommended this brand, and I’ve enjoyed it. If you prefer to make your own, here is a recipe from Epicurious.

Red Fish

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This recipe is so easy that I hesitated doing a post on it. But since my blog hopefully inspires people to cook more often, and be less intimidated about home cooking, I just knew I had to follow through with the post.

This recipe involves a white fish, and a tomato-based topping that just takes a few minutes to prepare. The only difference for me when I prepared this recipe, is that I got to use a redfish for the first time.

If any of you remember, I have a girlfriend whose husband fishes around the world, and they gave me a giant filet of redfish from the Gulf of Mexico to try. I also had a wonderful time discovering wahoo on this post and a fresh chunk of tuna on that post.

A red fish, or redfish, I’ve seen it both ways, has coin-sized scales, that feel more like sea shells than fish scales. I was told to cook it with the scales attached, so that’s exactly what I did.
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But for this recipe, any white fish would be delicious. If you’re not a fish lover, you could even substitute chicken or veal scallops.
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Mediterranean Style Redfish

1 large filet of redfish, or smaller filets of a white-fleshed fish
Drizzle of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt, pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place the redfish in an oiled baking dish, scales side down. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with the oregano, salt, and pepper.
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Bake until done*. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes, but it’s important not to overcook the fish.
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Alternatively, you can broil it, but you need to watch it carefully.

For the tomato topping:
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Olive oil
1 shallot, diced
4 Roma tomatoes, diced, seeded
6-8 Kalamata olives, sliced
1 tablespoon or so of capers
Fresh basil leaves

Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a small skillet. Saute the shallots for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes. Let them cook over medium heat until the liquid has evaporated, and the tomatoes don’t look so raw. Then add the olives and capers and stir well. Heat through.
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For this recipe I did a chiffonade of basil. This is just a fancy word to describe a slicing technique. You simply stack about 6 or so leaves of basil together, like this.
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Then you roll them into a cigar and slice 1/8″ crosswise slices. This technique creates delicate little curls of basil.
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I actually added the basil chiffonade to the tomato mixture, but alternatively, you can save the basil to sprinkle on top of the dish when it’s served.

To serve, slice the large filet of redfish in half, and carefully slide the spatula in between the scaley skin and the fish flesh. Place on a plate and add the warm tomato mixture on top. Add a little salt, if desired.

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* I unfortunately can’t give an exact time to cook fish, because there are so many factors. If you’re really unsure, slice into the fish during the cooking process to evaluate if it needs to cook more. The fish will become more opaque, but it should still look soft and tender. Too much cooking and the fish will dry out.