I remember the exact moment I fell in love with ceviche. I was visiting my sister, Anne, in Miami where she lived. The first afternoon, we ate lunch at a tiki-bar style restaurant, typical of South Florida. Steel drums kept time with the swaying palm trees. The breeze was warm, yet strong enough to blow our napkins from the table. The sun was smiling and the sky kissed the turquoise water with diamonds that glittered on the surface as far as we could see.
The conch ceviche was as exotic as the setting. One small bite of the tangy, crunchy, citrusy salad won me over. That was over thirty years ago. Today, I blend a variety of citrus and use whatever seafood and vegetables are in season.
Ceviche is one of those recipes that can be made ahead, refrigerated and served without any fuss. Spoon it into a salad bowl or a small cup and your guests will be impressed every time. I used scallops here because they are abundant and seasonal.
Mango-jalapeno scallop ceviche
by Maureen C. Berry
Make up to three hours before serving.
1 slice of red onion, diced or 1 Tablespoon
1 Cup pineapple juice
½ Cup orange juice
½ Cup Key Lime juice
Zest from small lime, lemon or orange
¼ cup red pepper, sliced into slivers
1 Tablespoon jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
¼ cup chopped, cilantro
1 Teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground in mortar and pestle
2 mangos, chopped
1 pound bay scallops
Place one slice of red onion in a small bowl of cold water while you prepare the juice and the vegetables.
In a large non-reactive bowl, add the three juices, zest. And stir.
Slice the peppers, then the dice the sliced onion and add all to the juice.
Chop the cilantro and add to the bowl.
Toast the cilantro seeds on low heat then crush in a mortar & pestle. Add to the bowl.
Rinse the scallops under cold water then pat dry. Remove the foot and discard, if still attached. This is a small muscle on the side of the scallop. Cut the scallop in half. Season the scallops liberally with sea salt and let sit them at room temperature for five minutes while you prepare the mango.
Peel the mangos. Slice the mango flesh down the sides away from the pit, and then chop the flesh into bite size pieces. Refrigerate the chopped mango.
Add the scallops to the juice and vegetable bowl. Stir, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Add the chopped mango five minutes before serving, stir and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat.
Ceviche can be served in its juice in a martini glass or a small bowl, or to serve dry, use a slotted serving spoon and heap it onto a bed of bibb lettuce. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro. Serve with a mild flat cracker, such as water crackers.