Thursday, April 29, 2010

SoCal Sustenance Blog Anniversary!

It's hard to believe that one year ago, I was toiling away at my very first post here in SoCal. It makes me giggle a little to read back through my old posts, complete with newbie goofs, cringe worthy photographs and the requisite corny food analogies. This blog was created out of personal curiosity about what this blogging world was about. I've learned leaps and bounds more than I ever anticipated, and enjoyed it much more as well.

SoCal has been a rambling adventure that's allowed exploration of my every cooking whim, regardless of how out there the combination or recipe may be. I've so enjoyed having you along for my kitchen excursions, with your wonderful feedback and support that constantly blows me away. A heartfelt thank you for continuing to wander along with me, in my meandering homages to all things tasty.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Simple Shrimp Ceviche

Spring has officially sprung here in Southern California. Toes long deprived of a winter's worth of sunshine are bravely peeping out through flip flops, grills are having the dust knocked off them and fired up for the first barbecue of the season, and garden centers are abuzz with excitement as the earth is ripe for planting. Here at Chez SoCal, we planted tomatoes and peppers on Sunday, and have an avocado sprouting from seed that I have high hopes for. As an aside from my inner farm girl. we've grown an avocado successfully in this manner before. It's just over a year old now, and lazily stretching towards the sun. It's tough to be sustainable and grow things in an apartment, but our container gardens are alive and well.

That last wandering diatribe was for you, my favorite SoCal folks, just in case you've missed my verbal meandering in the past few weeks. We are back in business, after slogging through a couple solid work weeks and a few of life's regular distractions. I have some great recipes and cooking concepts conjured up to make up for my blogging transgressions. I hope you will consider forgiving me.. or at least try this ceviche if you don't :)

To begin, a disclaimer. I've never made ceviche before, and I've only experienced its divine citrus punch and freshness since moving to California. Yet again, it's another one of those where have you been all my life food experiences. I stayed very simple with the flavors, not adding many of the oft added components (cilantro, cucumber, tomato paste etc). As with all recipes, the fun is in what you make of it, bring your own twists and tweaks. These flavors are so distinct they don't need a lot of fussing with and embellishment. The good news is this is so simple to make, only requiring some juicing, dicing and refrigeration for an amazingly fresh, healthful and party perfect meal.

Simple Shrimp Ceviche (Serves 4)
1 lb uncooked jumbo shrimp (16-20), diced
6 limes, juiced (reserving 1/4 cup)
2 lemons, juiced
1 red pepper, diced
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
1 large red onion, diced
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/8 tsp sea salt

Wash and clean shrimp thoroughly, removing shells. Place shrimp in a square baking dish, in a single layer. Pour lemon juice and lime juice over shrimp and cover. Chill for 3 hours, until shrimp in white and opaque.

Combine remaining ingredients and reserved lime juice in a small bowl and mix well. Place in refrigerator until shrimp is "cooked".

After three hours, check shrimp for opacity by slicing through to the center. If shrimp is finished, combine shrimp with vegetable mixture well. Serve as is, or with tortilla chips.