Erin’s Everyday Eats — I love the world of Ceviche…

Contributing Columnist

Do you have that one item you look for on a menu every time you go to a new restaurant?  The duck at Euphemia Haye, the steak at Hyde Park, or the 1905 Salad at the Columbia?  That one item that you find yourself ordering more times than not when you eat out? Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us are creatures of habit when it comes to the food we eat. I’m no different. For me, the item I find myself searching menus for is Ceviche.  It started when I was young. We would go out fishing on my father’s boat and come home excited about the seafood dinner we would be enjoying that evening.  Every time I order this refreshing, delectable dish, I remember the fun times on those family outings.

As most of you probably know, Ceviche is a seafood dish typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and seasoned with various herbs, traditionally cilantro. My better half is squeamish at the thought of eating raw fish; however, he was first open to trying it when he learned it is actually cooked.  The citrus juice “cooks” the fish, either entirely or partially, depending on how long seafood is marinated. The citric acid changes the structure of the proteins, as if it had been cooked with heat.

Dining in Sarasota, I have come to have my favorites, such as the Mixto Ceviche at Darwin’s on 4th, the Selva Wild Ceviche at the Selva Grill, or the Ceviche De Gambas at Ceviche, the restaurant.  Mark Huber, longtime Longboat Key resident and real estate veteran, claims that the Longboat Key Club has the best he has ever tasted.  In fact, during his last visit, the staff had to cut him off, telling him to save some for everyone else.

Apparently ordering Ceviche almost every time I dined out was not enough, as I soon found myself experimenting at home with different recipes of my own creation. A favorite variation is watermelon and mint shrimp Ceviche (pictured below). The best thing about Ceviche is that the possibilities are practically limitless. I often head to the store or market with only a general idea of what I want to make. I allow the ingredients that catch my eye to serve as the inspiration for my kitchen creations. Most days you can find me wandering the aisles at Morton’s, Publix, or Whole Foods looking for inspiration. I also try to take advantage of the local farmer’s markets to make sure I am utilizing the freshest most seasonal ingredients in these dishes. As I have said before, I love all things food.

Erin is a Sarasota native and Real Estate Professional at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty.  Eating is just one of her favorite things.  You may contact Erin at Erin@ErinsEverydayEats.com to share your favorite recipes, dining adventures, and for a chance to be featured in Erin’s Everyday Eats.  

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