I am sure that you expected to open up today's post and find some soup or a casserole or some other cuddle up and stay warm and cozy food. But I wanted something to make me think warm and tropical!
You see, the snow today and all of the cold weather we had last week? That is my fault. I was in Ohio and IN two weeks ago, and it followed me back. I apologize, well except to the kids who are enjoying the day off. To them I say, "Your welcome".
My trip was kind of a disaster. It started off by a miserable drive through endless rain and fog for 9 hours. 20 minutes before I reached my first destination in Dayton, I had an accident. Standing on the side of the interstate I got a chill to the bone that I could not shake for the remainder of my trip.
I won't bore you with the details. But Firetrucks, police cars, a tow truck, a trip to the Emergency room (were I was told I did indeed have a brain and it was mostly intact just a little angry from banging against my skull)insurance companies, rental car agencies,extra days in Dayton when I should have been in IN, a funeral, a whirlwind of trying to seem my entire family in less than 48 hrs,and 13 (very tense) hours of driving back to NC.
When I reached my driveway, I looked down at outdoor temperature gauge on my fancy rental car and it read 47 degrees. "I AM NEVER LEAVING NORTH CAROLINA AGAIN!" at least not in the winter.
So, you can imagine that I was not happy when a few days later, the temperatures here began dropping and definitely not excited to see snow this morning! It's a good thing that I don't have to work today because I do not plan to peak my nose outside my door.
So, though I know those of you who did not grow up with snow and all the kids are enjoying your snow day. I am going to turn up my heat and eat my tropical dish and pretend I am in the Bahamas!
I found a recipe for Ceviche on a blog called The Omnicon after seeing a picture of it on Tastespotting. Besides the beautiful picture what caught my attention was the Tequila in it. I happen to be a big Tequila fan. Sadly though, I did not have any on hand but believe me the next time I make this, I will. I was also intriqued by the sweet potato in this. I was sure (from the picture) it was going to be mango. There are endless variations of fish, fruits and veggies in creviche I am looking forward to trying many more recipes for this wonderful Latin American dish.
Important Note: I know that everyone is concerned these days about food contamination. So , I did some research about this. In this recipe (like most Ceviche recipes) the acid in the lime juice denatures the proteins in the shrimp and gives it the texture and appearance of being "cooked". It does also kill bacteria. Though it may not kill ALL of the bacteria. The FDA states that shellfish that is frozen to -31 degrees for 15 days is relatively safe for raw consumption. For this reason I would only use commercially frozen shrimp. It should also be noted that pregnant women or anyone with a compromised immune system should NOT eat raw seafood.
If you still feel uneasy about eating raw seafood you can lightly steam the shrimp then marinate it in the lime juice for about 30 minutes.
In Denial of Winter Shrimp Ceviche
1 lb thawed raw shrimp, cleaned and roughly chopped
10 oz lime juice
1 cup cubed sweet potato
1/2 cup diced red onion
2/3 c chopped cilantro
1/4 cup,diced red/yellow peppers
2 Jalepeno peppers cleaned and sliced
1 can coconut water (also called coconut juice,NOT coconut MILK)
1 shot tequila (optional)
1/4 c coconut, toasted
Place chopped shrimp in a ziplock bag and cover with lime juice. Squeeze out all the air and roll up bag so that all shrimp is completely covered in lime juice. Let sit in fridge for 3-4 hours.
Placed peeled,diced sweet potato in a pan of boiling water and cook until tender. (15-20 mins) drain and cool.
Drain shrimp, reserving 1/4 cup of lime juice. Combine with remaining ingredients (except toasted coconut). Chill for 1 hr. Place in beautiful glasses and sprinkle with the toasted coconut. This can be eaten by itself as is or enjoyed on a tortilla or crackers.