Try these recipes for Summer Ceviche and Pisco Sour for your own National Ceviche Day celebration
On June 28, get your friends together and celebrate National Ceviche Day. There seems to be a holiday for every food known to man, however this one is official. Although the dish is prepared throughout Latin America, with countries like Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Mexico laying claim to its invention, Peru made it official in 2004 by declaring the citrus-marinated fish dish part of its cultural heritage. In 2008, they further honored the dish by creating “El Dia Nacional del Cebiche” or National Ceviche Day celebrated throughout the country, especially in the city of Lima and its over 11,000 “Cevicherias” (Ceviche restaurants). This my friends gives us a great reason (excuse) to have a party and celebrate.
Go out and try one of the many restaurants around town that serve ceviche. It has become a popular menu item in most Mexican and Latin restaurants. If you feel like staying home instead, here is my Easy Entertaining: “National Ceviche Day” Game Plan for you.
1. Invite Friends
2. Make an easy Ceviche Recipe, like the one below, a few hours prior to the party
3. Mix Pisco Sours
5. Have fun and make memories
What I love about Ceviche is that it can be as elaborate or simple as you want it to be. It is light and colorful, looks fancy yet easy to make and you can use any firm fish or shellfish you prefer.
In Peru, it is traditionally made with chunks of raw corvina or sea bass, marinated for several hours in fresh squeezed key lime and bitter orange, onions, chili peppers, seasoned with salt and pepper and served with chunks of corn on the cob and slices of cooked sweet potato.
In Ecuador, Shrimp ceviche with tomato sauce served with corn nuts and “patacones” plantain chips is the number one choice.
In Chile, they prefer to use Halibut and add grapefruit juice and cilantro.
In Mexico, they add avocado and serve with saltines crackers.
In Costa Rica, it is made with Tilapia and Corvina.
In the Caribbean, Mahi Mahi is a popular choice and coconut milk is sometimes added.
In Bahamas and South Florida, you may sample a conch ceviche or one of with lobster, shrimp, crab, scallops, and calamari or a combination of these for a creative twist.
Other fish options include flounder, grouper, yellowtail or red snapper. Any way you choose to make it, always use the freshest fish with a firm flesh.
My friends at Cocina 214, Winter Park, Florida’s award-winning Tex Mex Restaurant provided an easy Summer Ceviche Recipe. Business Manager and Partner, Lambrine Macejewski, recommends Tilapia as it is available year round. White fish with a good consistency in the meat is preferred as “using fish that is too fragile can become rubbery or dissolve while marinating”. For this Summer Ceviche, they are adding pineapple and mango to the traditional recipe to give an added touch of sweetness that does not overpower the fish. It is perfect for a Summer afternoon!
Cocina 214 Summer Ceviche Recipe
* Fresh Tilapia
* Fresh Lime Juice
* Purple Onion
* Grape Tomatoes
* Salt to taste
The best part of this recipe is that it has no measurements. Basically, use as much or as little of each ingredient as your taste desires. You just can’t go wrong. Use one pound of fish for 8 servings and enough lime juice to cover the fish completely. All ingredients should be chopped, sliced or cubed. Mix together and place in the refrigerator for a few hours to have it fully marinate and cook the fish. The fish will be cooked when it turns opaque. Serve with saltines crackers, tortilla chips, plantain chips, sweet potato chips or over lettuce cups.
Ceviche is one of the most popular dishes at Cocina 214. If you don’t feel like cooking at home, stop by Cocina 214 to try this special Summer Ceviche which is only offered on National Ceviche Day, June 28th from 11am-10pm. Cocina 214 is located at 151 Welbourne Avenue East Winter Park, FL 32789. 407-790-7997
After visiting the Pisco Latin Lounge in San Francisco, one of the top spots in town with a large selection of Pisco, I fell in love with their Pisco Sour Cocktail. It was perfection! It is the best pairing to ceviche as the fruity and tart flavors of the drink complement the refreshing light fish dish. I think all Peruvians and Chileans would agree. Both Chile and Peru claim this South American grape-based fruity and aromatic brandy as their national drink and the argument over who invented it has been raging for centuries. Pisco arrived into the United States via San Francisco in the 1850s. The owner of the San Francisco Bank Exchange made it popular with his Pisco Punch. After Prohibition in the 1920’s, Pisco all but disappeared until now seeing a resurgence with mixologists around the country creating inventive craft cocktails.
The Pisco Sour, a version of the Whiskey Sour, made with Pisco, lime juice, sugar, egg whites and dash of bitters remains the most popular Pisco cocktail.
I asked Carlos, the bartender at Pisco Latin Lounge, his secret. The key, he said, is all in the shaking. You must vigorously shake the cocktail for at least 30 seconds for the flavors to meld together. It is a mini workout! Lastly, don’t skip the egg white. It adds the perfect frothiness and lightness that this cocktail requires. Yes, you may be wary of using raw egg, but trust me, you will love it!
Pisco Sour Cocktail Recipe
2 oz Pisco (Porton is a good brand to try)
1 fresh egg white
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
.5 oz Simple Syrup (a mixture of one part sugar, one part water)
Dash of orange bitters
Add all ingredients except bitters to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass. Add 3 drops of bitters and serve.
If you dare, try a shot of tiger’s milk (leche de tigre), the leftover ceviche marinade. Brightly colored from the spicy chili peppers, and sometimes mixed with vodka, tiger’s milk is considered an aphrodisiac and a cure for hangovers, take your pick. At Pisco Latin Lounge, they served Leche de Tigre with a scallop shooter and oh my! It was tasty and totally caught me off guard with the bright spicy flavors. Definitely a must-try! Pisco Latin Lounge is located at 1817 Market St, San Francisco, CA (415) 874-9951
There you have it my Epicurista friends. I hope you are inspired to get together with your friends and celebrate National Ceviche Day, at home or out on the town. Get out there, celebrate life with your loved ones and #MakeSomedayHappen
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