Holiday Favorites

Simple Ceviche

by Shawnda on April 29, 2014

in Appetizers,Cinco de Mayo,Lighter & Healthier,Lime,Mexican & TexMex,Seafood

Simple Ceviche for Cinco de Mayo

You know what beats a weekend bowl of ice-cold ceviche, crunchy tortilla chips, and a frosty-mug margarita by the pool?

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

A few years ago, Jason & I dumped our not-even-a-year-old little girl in my aunt’s lap, ran away laughing maniacally, and then spent the better part of the next week sustaining on the world’s most fabulous ceviches, guacamole, and margaritas in Mexico.

Octopus (shockingly Jason’s favorite), sea bass, snapper… whatever they had literally caught that morning, was ceviche by our 2pm Margarita Break. It does not get any fresher than that.

Simple Ceviche for Cinco de Mayo

Ceviche is simply fresh raw fish that is “cooked” in an acidic citrus marinade and then mixed with… well, any variety of things: capers, onions, spicy peppers (a must!), olives, tomatoes, avocado, etc. Don’t be weirded out by the “raw” aspect. Ceviche is phenomenal. Cold, fresh, tangy, and crunchy.

We make a simplified version of that beach-side staple at home a few times each summer, mixing the fish with pico de gallo, avocado, a drizzle of olive oil, and the perfect crunchy vehicle: corn tortilla chips. And all for substantially less than 2 roundtrips to the Riviera Maya and a babysitter.

We have this ceviche on our menu again for this weekend’s Cinco (Cuatro) de Mayo bash. I hope our guests aren’t so weirded out by it that I’m forced to eat it all by myself.*

Simple Ceviche for Cinco de Mayo

*That would be a total lie.

Simple Ceviche

A simple ceviche served with pico de gallo and avocado.

Ingredients

  • For the marinade:
  • 1 lb of the freshest fish you can get (I use sea bass or halibut; scallops and snapper are also internet-recommended), skinned and diced into 1/2-inch or smaller cubes
  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • For the pico de gallo:
  • 3 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1-2 jalapeno or serrano, finely diced
  • Small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • For serving:
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • Olive oil
  • Corn tortilla chips

Instructions

  1. Place the fish and lime juice in a small-to-medium glass bowl (size matters - giggle - so all of the fish is in contact with the juice but not overcrowded), cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 3 hours, stirring once or twice.
  2. Just before serving, assemble the pico de gallo and pace it in a medium bowl with the chopped avocado.
  3. Drain the fish, discarding the lime juice, and add to the avocado mixture.
  4. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and lightly mix.
  5. Serve immediately with chips.

Notes

Yields: 8-10 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 3 hours 30 minutes

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This, my friends, is liquid gold. Pure liquid gold.

Fresh squeezed lime juice

One post-preschool-drop-off morning last week, I spent the better part of two hours driving around west Houston scouting the price of limes. Grocery stores roll their weekly prices on Wednesdays and with our annual Tequila & Taquitos Bash approaching, I needed to find the most affordable source for limes.

My first stop?

The price of limes

NOPE. I’ve never paid more than .20/lime. Ever. And in recent months, I’ve actually been completely spoiled with .10 limes.

Although I did watch in complete wonder (horror? envy?) as a woman loaded 10 limes into a bag without so much as batting a (totally fake) eyelash and moved on. As in, $6.90. For 10 limes.

Fresh squeezed lime juice

I needed 230 limes. As in ~$160. In just limes. So not gonna happen.

The rest of my stops were met with only slightly less budget-breaking prices: .44-.45. And then I rolled into my last stop, found .25 limes, and began the tedious process of digging through the bins looking for The Perfect Lime.

The Perfect Lime
Not only are limes expensive these days thanks to the basic economic principle of supply, demand, and entprenurial drug-cartel hijacking, they also aren’t very good quality. More than 75% of that bin was full of hard, under-ripe limes.

Hard under-ripe limes do not a good margarita make. Or a good anything else.

Fresh squeezed lime juice

I look for smooth limes that give quite a bit when you squeeze them – because those softer, squishier limes? They’re ripe. Full of easy-to-extract lime juice. Full of easy-to-extract future margarita. Totally worth the [gulp] .25 each.

I also prefer the rounder limes – my juicer sometimes balks at the more football-shaped limes. And when I’m going to juice 230 limes over the course of 4 days, I prefer fewer problems and interruptions.

So you’ve hoarded limes for LimeMageddon. Now you are ready to juice and freeze.

The Perfect Lime Juicer
It’s any appliance that plugs into a wall and makes juicing 230 limes go as quick and as painless as possible. We have a 5-year-old Breville Citrus Press. (Sigh. I really do miss the DINK days.) It’s insanely heavy duty and has seen literally thousands of citrus halves over the years, from tiny key limes to the gigantigrapefruit from the RGV… and even pomegranates! Pull lever, count to 3, discard peel. Repeat. 229 more times.

And when the very sad day comes and the Breville isn’t repairable for less than $25, we’ll buy the Applica Citrus Juicer.

The Perfect Lime Margarita
Just say no to the neon green mix from a the bottle. Just say no to pre-bottled, pasteurized lime juice. Just say no – and give major side eye – to cutting your perfect lime margarita with lemon juice. (No, it’s not the same.) (Yes, everyone will be able to tell.)

If you want to drink the perfect margarita, you have to go fresh. Lime juice, water, sugar/sweetener, tequila, orange liqueur and maybe a rim of salt. That’s it. No preservatives, no food coloring, no fakesies anything.

Homemade Margarita Mix Recipe

Make your own homemade margarita mix.

Homemade Margarita Mix Recipe

Ditch the sugar in favor of a “I can’t believe this is only 118 calories” Skinny Margarita.

Blue Margarita Recipe

Two words: Margarita Popsicles.

Blue Margarita Recipe

Or tackle any one of the 24 other margarita recipes we’ve whipped up.

The Perfect Lime Juice Storage
Any freezer food-storage option will do, but if you’re going to be measuring your liquid gold lime juice stash in quarts (or gallons!), I cannot recommend these 32 oz storage containers enough. Food safe, secure seal, and they hold 3.5 cups of lime juice (with headroom for freezing). I have 6 of them in my freezer right now – that’s 21 cups – with 75 limes left to juice.

To use the lime juice, I put the frozen container in a sink of water deep enough to come up 3/4 the side of the container and let it thaw. I use what I need and if I won’t be using 3.5 cups of lime juice in the next few days (it happens… sometimes), I simply refreeze the juice.

Now you’re ready to hit the market and sort through the windfall of Lime Suckage to get the most margarita for your buck. So ladies and gentleman, start your hoarding!

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Muffin-Tin Omelets with Kale, Sundried Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese

When I started Whole30, it was a desperation move to see if I could find something that might speed up healing my plantar fasciitis so I could start running again.

It sounded like an okay-ish idea. Actually, that’s totally a pants-on-fire lying lie. I knew it was a terrible idea. That I would be miserable and that misery would suck the other innocent bystanders in this house into my miserable swirling vortex of the misery that is Miserable No-Sugar Shawnda.

Muffin-Tin Omelets with Kale, Sundried Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese

I feel like we have eaten the same 4 things over and over and over and over and over again. I have been completely uninspired (you’ve probably noticed how quiet it has been) and, in general, just a real [radio edit] “joy” to be around.

The WholeAlmost30 hasn’t been perfect. Or enjoyable (understatement of the [radio edit] year). But here we are, nearly a month later, and I’ve been jogging on the treadmill a few times a week.

With almost zero issues. Y’all. Zero. And that is totally not a pants-on-fire lying lie.

So I officially and permanently claimed back one of the forbidden fruits to help try to ease the misery. Because you know what I was totally sick of eating for breakfast? Eggs. You know what makes all the difference in the world and turns eggs back into a far less stabby breakfast option? Goat cheese.

GOAT CHEESE.

Muffin-Tin Omelets with Kale, Sundried Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese

I whisked together the fixins for a mega-omelet and baked it in a cupcake pan. Re-heating 2-3 for breakfast every morning was a lot quicker, easier, and far more enjoyable than my standard eggs-over-green-things. It was also a great way to put a dent in the KalePocalypse™ that’s going down in the garden right now.

Here’s to goat cheese! And for “wogging” a 5k. And to more goat cheese!

Miffin-Tin Omelets with Kale, Sundried Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese

Miniature baked omelets loaded with fresh kale, sundried tomatoes, and tangy goat cheese.

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 packed cups chopped kale (~8 large leaves)
  • Heaping 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, salt, pepper and goat cheese in a large bowl; set aside.
  3. Liberally (like, waaaay liberally) spray a muffin tin with cooking spray/olive oil. (You can also use paper liners - not my favorite, see the last paragraph above.)
  4. Heat olive oil in a skillet and saute the onion and garlic until translucent and softened.
  5. Add the chopped kale and tomatoes, stirring until the kale begins to wilt.
  6. Turn off heat and let sit about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Transfer the kale mixture to the eggs, stirring to mix.
  8. Using a 1/4-cup measure to fill each muffin cup.
  9. Bake for ~25 minutes, until the centers are set and not runny.
  10. Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes.
  11. Run a knife around the edge of the omelets and then let cool another 5 minutes.
  12. Remove from pan - a fork is helpful for any that stuck at the bottom.
  13. Refrigerate leftovers and reheat in the microwave.

Notes

Yields: 12 individual omelets, or 4-6 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 45 minutes

*I’ve made individual omelets in cupcake liners and… well, it’s not my favorite. My paper liners always get soggy in the fridge over the course of the next 2-3 days and tear into small pieces. Which I feel is a bigger pain that using a fork to loosen the mini-omelets from the muffin pan. Totally your call, though. As long as the pan is well-sprayed with oil, you shouldn’t lose any to tearing.

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Tequila Lime Chicken Fajitas

It’s grilling season. Kind of.

And by kind of, I mean there are currently icicles hanging off the new grill. The new grill I bought specifically to make these fajitas.

Tequila Lime Chicken Fajitas

Of course there are icicles. Because this is Texas and Spring Break is 3 days away and the Bluebonnets and Paints are already peeking out along 71 near LaGrange. So it’s time to nuke everyone’s happiness with garden-crushing temperatures and “Thundersleet.”

So I guess that makes them Thundercicles™.

They can take our beautifully deceptive spring weather, but they can’t take our tequila. Unless it’s after 9pm or Sunday and then there’s no place open to buy tequila.

(Tequila. It makes the intolerable aspects of Texas slightly more tolerable.) (™)

Tequila Lime Chicken Fajitas

Chicken breasts are marinated in, essentially, a margarita. Then they’re grilled to charred perfection and served wrapped in fluffy tortilas with grilled vegetables, pico de gallo, and avocado. And washed down with a pitcher of margaritas.

Happy Another Texas Spring Break Spent in a Sweater!

Tequila-Lime Chicken Fajitas

Juicy chicken fajitas marinated in tequila and lime.

Ingredients

  • For the marinade:
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 1/2 oz (3 Tbsp) tequila
  • 1 tsp of chile powder
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 lb chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
  • For serving
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lime, cut in half
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, cut into 1/3-inch rounds
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into 1/3-inch slices
  • Small flour tortillas
  • Pico de gallo
  • Sliced avocado

Instructions

  1. Place the marinade ingredients into a gallon freezer bag and squeeze to mix.
  2. Add the chicken, seal, turn to coat, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Longer is better.)
  3. Oil grates and heat grill to medium-high.
  4. Drizzle onion rounds, bell pepper slices, and cut ends of the lime with olive oil and place on the grill (if your grates are very large, grill on folded-to-double-thickness foil with slats cut through it).
  5. Add the chicken and cook for 6-7 minutes and then flip everything (veggies included) and cook for 6-7 minutes more until veggies are nicely charred and juices run clear from the chicken.
  6. Let chicken rest 10 minutes before slicing.
  7. Serve chicken on tortillas, topped with grilled veggies, pico, avocado, and a squeeze of grilled lime.

Notes

Yields: 8 fajitas

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour 35 minutes

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