Ceviche and Margaritas

From: Tiffany Conroy
To: Mike “the Mike” Wood
Subject: ceviche

Send me your recipe! I crave it every now and then. You also mentioned the “cooking” times for different types of seafoods. Please include those guidelines too please 🙂

– Tiffany

From: Mike “the Mike” Wood
To: Tiffany Conroy
Subject: RE: ceviche

I crave it too. It’s kind of hard to get some of the side-ingredients here though (like tostadas), in the absence of a Mexican grocery like that one in Kensington.

The best thing to do is go to the St. Lawrence market at just the right time (2-3ish) on a Saturday when the fish sellers are putting together trays of things and selling the whole lot. You’ll get something like half a rack of crab legs, a tiny lobster tail and some scallops for one low price. Awesome. The scallops I like are the white ones that have roughly the same diameter as a coffee mug.

“Cooking” Times

I think scallops are the best, but they take much longer than anything else at 5-6 hours. fillets of any whitefish will be done in 1-1.5 hours, shrimp in 2, lobster in 2-3 (although how the hell you’d get it out of the shell without cooking it first I’ll never know). The basic rule is that the fish must lose the transparent look all the way through. You can test a bit at intervals along the way and sort of watch the chemical reaction take place in cross-section… if you’re a science-y food geek.

Scallop Ceviche

  • 6 scallops (big ones) diced
  • lime juice to cover (~8 big limes)
  • rock salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

Most of the ingredients for ceviche

  1. rinse and dice scallops
  2. toss scallop bits together with chopped garlic
  3. sprinkle with rock salt
  4. pour on lime juice
  5. let soak for 5-6 hours, until scallops are “cooked” ie: no longer translucent. drain off lime juice
  • 1 med onion (or a few tiny ones and some shallots)
  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley
  • 2-3 fresh serrano peppers, chopped small, seeds in if you like it hot
  • more lime juice
  • drizzle of olive oil
  1. chop it all up and mix with “cooked” scallops. add some more lime juice (~50ml) let sit for 20-30 minutes to let flavours mix. (For maximum decadence, you can drizzle equal parts olive oil AND tequila)
  2. serve with tostadas and beer and tequila and white wine. Also, a beach.

A word about tequila; don’t buy anything that says “golden tequila” on it. It’s low-grade tequila that’s been coloured with caramel to artificially age it. There are three kinds of tequila (“tequila” is like “champagne” in that it is from a particular region)… the three kinds are:

Blanco: clear, basically unaged
Reposado: aged 12-18 months
Anejo: aged 18+, and it’s golden in colour

“Anejo” kind of means “goldish-coloured” which is why Jose Cuervo gets away with calling his stuff “golden”. But it’s bad Blanco with colouring in it. Don’t be fooled!

In a slushy fruity girly drink-drunk drink, you have to be a real booze-snob to claim being able to tell Blanco from the rest of them. In a proper margarita (or any other nice drink), Reposado or Anejo is prefered; ditto for giving a bit of essence to food. Reposado of Anejo are both classed as “sipping” tequilas by those in the know (read: booze-snobs).

Mike’s Proper, Non-Frat-Party Margarita

3 parts Tequila
2 parts Cointreau or TripleSec
1 part fresh lime juice
1/2 pinch salt
splash of GrandMarnier (optional)
sugar to taste (I use about 2/3 tsp per two tumblers, but some people like it sweeter)

Shake with ice and serve on the rocks in a tumbler-style glass.

Incidentally, this drink apparently follows a mixology rule. The rule is “3:2:1, Liquor:Cordial:Juice” Who knew?

MIKE “airquotes” WOOD