Summertime is ceviche time. The classic South American blend of diced or sliced raw fish and fresh citrus juice tossed with flavorful flourishes ranks right up there with gazpacho and vichyssoise on the refreshment scale—especially with a super-chilled wine.
The basic tenet of ceviche? Start with the freshest, best-quality fish you can find. You’ll hear people say the citric acid of lemon, lime, grapefruit or orange juice “cooks” the fish. But, in fact, it merely alters its proteins, making it opaque and more firm. It does not kill bacteria or parasites. I know: ick. Sorry to bring that up, but you really do want the best.
My advice: Head to Aquarius Seafood and choose your fish or seafood. Some people enjoy the buttery quality of scallops. You may prefer shrimp or snapper, monkfish or halibut. Whatever. The folks at Aquarius have a minimalist scallop- and basil-based ceviche recipe on their Website. And, of course, you can find infinite variations in cookbooks and online. Some call for Serrano chiles and mango, others rely on red onion, diced tomatoes and avocado, and most ceviche recipes are really simple.
If you’re not into making your own, go “fishing” at the Sonora Grill in Ogden (TheSonoraGrill.com) and try their ceviche bar. Tarahumara (Tarahumara.biz) in Midway serves up a super version with Mahi Mahi and onion in tostada cups on baby greens, topped with guacamole and pico de gallo. It’s perfect.
Because it’s so cool and light, with bursts of tangy flavor that play all over your tongue, ceviche is especially alluring with an edgy white wine or a bubbly blanc de blancs. Look for wines with citrus, chalk and clean mineral flavors for pairing.
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