Many of our customers love ceviche, the dish that has gained the attention of foodies around the world in recent years. Ceviche is a raw fish dish that is “cooked” in a citrus marinade without the use of heat. However, depending on your taste, you can add spicy heat to your ceviche with aji, or Peruvian hot chili peppers. Along with the aji, the others flavors that make ceviche so delicious are key lime and onion. Many cooks are intimidated to make raw fish dishes at home, but if you love the style of ceviche (especially the red onions and bright lime flavor) there is another option for you. Try a recipe like Ensalada de Pallares, a Peruvian lima bean salad (from The Art of Peruvian Cuisine.) Instead of raw fish, start with a pound of large white lima (butter) beans. You’ll also need 1 finely sliced large red onion, 1/4 of a white cabbage, 1 finely sliced aji amarillo pepper (available jarred at mamatinas.com) 8 finely diced radishes, 1 tsp oregano, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, the juice of 3 key limes, and freshly ground salt and pepper. Cook the beans and peel if desired. Then combine the onion slices, aji amarillo, lime juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste – but save a little bit of the lime juice and olive oil. In a separate bowl, combine the radish, vinegar, oregano and salt to taste. Next slice the cabbage and place it in a colander. Pour boiling water over it, then rinse with cold water. Season the cabbage with salt, white pepper, and the remaining lime juice and olive oil. Combine all of the ingredients on a platter to serve, and garnish with fresh sliced tomato if desired. Let the mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes to bring out the flavor. The onion, lime and aji flavors will remind you of fresh ceviche, without the hassle of marinading raw fish at home. You can also experiment with many other flavors – I recently tried a fresh vegetable salad with a lime juice base that featured cabbage, baby carrots, tomatoes and corn. All of these flavors and fresh ingredients are intensified by the lime juice. Check back for more tips on Peruvian cooking and information about Peruvian cuisine.
November 1, 2011
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