Scallops cooked in lemon and lime juice makes a zesty spring appetizer.
Recently my spouse and I dined at a local Latin American restaurant and had a ceviche appetizer. I love trying new things, but I was apprehensive knowing that the seafood was “raw.” To my surprise, the ceviche was delicious and fresh, and the consistency of the seafood didn’t seem uncooked. I knew immediately I wanted to re-create this dish at home.
Ceviche is made by “cooking” (actually, firming) small pieces of seafood with the acid of citrus juice, most often lime or lemon. The key to the best flavor is to use only very fresh seafood. One of my favorite types of seafood is scallops, so I decided to create my version of ceviche using fresh sea scallops.
Because sea scallops are large, I opted to quarter them for this recipe. You could certainly use fresh bay scallops if they are available to you, but the most fresh option at my local seafood market when I created this recipe was the sea scallops.
It was an unusually warm Saturday in February when I decided to prepare this dish. Like most of us who live near the beach, we had friends visiting that weekend, and I wanted to offer a light yet coastal inspired appetizer before we went out that night.
I put the ceviche together around lunch, giving it plenty of time to marinate in the refrigerator before serving it that evening. I served these to each person in a scallop shell for a beautiful presentation. I then set out corn chips for dipping, which added just another layer of complexity to the texture.
This recipe can be easily manipulated to coincide with flavors and ingredients that you prefer. Jalapeno peppers would be good in this recipe instead of the red peppers, if you prefer a bit of spice over sweet. Rather than avocado, you can substitute cucumbers for more crunch. If you don’t like cilantro, use parsley instead. Shrimp or a white flaky fish would be a good substitute for the scallops – or you could use a combination of shrimp and fish or scallops and shrimp. As you can see, ceviche is really versatile, so feel free to make it your own.
My guests were impressed by the ceviche, and I hope yours will be too.
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