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Ecuadorian Shrimp Ceviche

This is a tasty sample of Chef Rodriguez's tantalizing appetizer menu. In Ecuador, corn is the staple and it shows up in their foods in many ways. Locals enjoying a cool, refreshing ceviche will likely have a bowl of popcorn and corn nuts alongside, alternating bites of the zesty seafood with the crunchy, nutty corn. The combination sounds unusual, but you'll be amazed at how delicious it is. The ceviche is best made shortly before serving and the popcorn and corn nuts should be added at the very last minute. At Patria, ceviches are made not just once at the beginning of the evening, but all through the evening so the flavors will be fresh and at their best. This isn't a dish that benefits from sitting.

Type: Fish, Shellfish
Courses: Starters and appetizers
Serves: 4 people

Recipe Ingredients

1 lb 454g / 16ozShrimp - peeled, deveined
1 lb 454g / 16ozTomato - roasted, peeled, (large)
  And seeded
2   Jalapeño peppers - roasted, peeled,
  And seeded
2   Red bell peppers - roasted, peeled,
  And seeded
1/2   Onion - roasted (medium)
3/4 cup 177mlFreshly-squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup 118mlFreshly-squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup 59mlTomato juice
  Tabasco sauce - to taste
1 tablespoon 15mlSugar
  Salt - to taste
1   Red onion - thinly sliced (small)
2 tablespoons 30mlChopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons 30mlChopped green onions
  Several whole leaves of cilantro
1   Tomato - chopped (large)
1 cup 62g / 2.2ozPlain popped popcorn
1/2 cup 31g / 1.1ozPlain corn nuts

Recipe Instructions

Note: Roasting the vegetables not only cooks them, but develops their flavor before pureeing for the sauce. Set the whole tomato, jalapeños and bell peppers on a baking sheet. Trim the onion half and set it cut-side up on the baking sheet. Set the sheet 3 to 4 inches under the broiler. Turn the vegetables every few minutes so they toast evenly. When the tomato skin cracks and chars (about 5 minutes), remove it and let cool.

Continue cooking the peppers untill the skin is evenly charred and blistered, about 3 minutes longer. The onion should be roasted, turned occasionally, until evenly browned and soft through, about 5 minutes longer. (Roasting times will vary, depending on the heat of your broiler.) Let the vegetables cool; peel, seed and core the tomato and peppers.

Bring a medium pan of water to a boil, add the shrimp and cook until just opaque through, about 2 minutes. Drain the shrimp and put them in a bowl of ice water. (This stops the cooking immediately, so the shrimp don't become overcooked and tough.) Once cold, drain the shrimp well and put them in a bowl.

Put the tomato, peppers, onions, lime juice, orange juice, tomato juice, Tabasco, sugar and salt in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour this mixture over the shrimp, stir to mix and chill.

Just before serving, add the garnish ingredients -- except the popcorn and corn nuts -- and toss to mix. Spoon the ceviche onto individual plates and randomly sprinkle the popcorn and corn nuts around.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

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