In this hot weather I really do not want to eat very much and certainly am not keen on generate heat by cooking, but still want to enjoy big flavours. It seems that ceviche might be the answer and I was delighted to be asked to attend an 11 course ceviche dinner at the Gaucho Grill Piccadilly.
Ceviche originated in Latin America, and, as is so often the case with these things several countries have tried to take credit for its creation. Ceviche is a way of preserving fish – which enabled fishermen to stay at sea for longer.
To preserve food you need to stop micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi multiplying and spoiling the food. One way to do this is by drying – without moisture these micro-organisms cannot grow – salting draws liquid from food and thus preserves it.
Fish would be encased in salt to dry it and the fishermen would take it to sea, chisel off the salt and add citrus juice, which keeps fresh in picked fruit, to rehydrate, “cook” and add flavour. Perfect convenience food!
The style of ceviche varies across South America with sweet potatoes featuring in Peruvian dishes, avocado in Ecuador, gucamole in Mexico and a fusion in Argentina.
With good quality fish or seafood it is remarkably easy to make your own ceviche at home – simply cut large pieces of fish into smaller pieces and add some salt and stir, drain the salted liquid off if needed, and then pour over some citrus juice to “cook” and then add your choice of flavourings and serve immediately.
The ceviches we tried are all listed below – mainly for recipe, flavour and re-creation inspiration – and to show how wide and varied the dish can be. I really enjoyed of all of them – and certainly am inspired to both make ceviche at home and order it in a restaurant.
All of the dishes are on the menu at the Gaucho Grill and come highly recommended as an alternative to the more obvious steak, but sadly not (yet?) as an 11 course tasting menu!
Fuss Free Flavours was the guest of The Gaucho Grill, many thanks for a lovely evening.