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COOKING WITH PARIND: Being served ceviche not a raw deal

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By Parind Vora
Lockhart Bistro

Hello everyone. My name is Parind Vora. In this column we talk cooking, tricks to cooking and sometimes eating.
What I’ve been thinking is that it’s hot? And it seems that everyone I know is on some sort of diet. So I’m thinking about something that is light, gluten free and refreshing as well nutritious.
I’m thinking ceviche. People are scared because it starts with raw fish. But there is no reason to be freaked out if you follow two simple rules.
Pick the freshest fish or meat (yes, you can make meat (not poultry) ceviche but it’s usually called tartare).
You have to season the food correctly first and foremost.
So let’s realize a few things regarding ceviche.
Yes, it is raw but it isn’t slimy or dangerous if you use fresh product from a reliable source. The marinade doesn’t really ‘cook’ the fish. It is better to say cure versus cook in the marinade.
You can easily cure in the marinade but can also overdo it. The idea is to preserve the freshness of the seafood. The seafood will taste way less ‘fishy’ if you do a short marinate time, say 15 min. It will also be way more tender. If a fish is safe to eat raw then that fish is perfect for ceviche.
What marinade do we ‘cure’ the fish in? Fresh lime juice with salt, cilantro & a little hot pepper.
What should we watch out for when we pick the seafood? It should not smell fishy or be slimy to the touch.
Why is the way the fish is cut is very important? So we can get an even cure from the marinade.
How do we serve the ceviche? In a cold bowl with tortilla chips.
Buying from a reputable purveyor is the most important step. Frozen (high quality) is also acceptable for ceviche just thaw overnight in the refrigerator before proceeding with the recipe.
Keep everything cold including the bowl, the knife and even the cutting board by cooling before using in the freezer for an hour and the fish should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator.

Pick up a copy of the Lockhart Post-Register and get Lockhart Bistro chef Parind Vora’s ceviche recipe to try at home.

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