03 July 2010

Salmon and Avocado-Orange Ceviche

I love ceviche, and the shades of orange and green in this citrisy, sour and sweet version that I concocted one afternoon to avoid turning on the stove, are especially vibrant. I also love anything served with tortilla chips. Further, I love appetizer-as-dinner meals. This bowl of messy yumminess checks all three boxes, and, I somehow convince myself that if I can keep the ceviche-to-chip ratio weighed in the direction of fish and happy fats, over deep fried corn, then the whole thing remains "healthy".  

Whatever the logic, it goes without saying that ceviche is indeed perfect in hot weather, especially 90-degree city-heat with no breeze and humidity levels at an all time high. And so, on a random Friday evening I began segmenting an orange (which my sister-in-law Meredith taught me to do over a year ago with a grapefruit and it seemed like the fanciest and most chef like thing I'd learned in 2009), and throwing together a bowlful of ingredients centered around a fat chunk of salmon and a perfectly ripe avocado.     
Salmon and Avocado-Orange Ceviche 
by Cynthia Olson 
Serves 2 for dinner or 4 as appetizer
1 ripe avocado
1 2-inch piece, filet of salmon
1 navel orange
1-2 serrano chiles or thai bird chiles, seeds and membrane removed, minced
a generous handful of chopped fresh cilantro 
1 shallot, finely chopped
Juice of 1 large lemon (or 2 limes)
1 tbsp olive oil
Small bunch finely chopped chives (optional) 
Plenty of salt and pepper
Remove skin from the salmon and cut into 1/4 inch squares. Place in a medium size bowl. Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. With flesh of avocado still in its skin, score it diagonally with a small paring knife, and then again, forming 1/2 inch pieces. Scoop avocado from skin into bowl. 

Add chopped chiles, cilantro, and shallot. Squeeze juice lemon or lime over everything and mix gently with a large spoon, slightly breaking up pieces of avocado and coating salmon. Let sit in refrigerator for approximately 20 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper, and stir again gently. Before serving, if you wish you could sprinkle a handful of chopped chives over the top. 

*If you're serving this for a party, it might also be a good idea to transfer to a fresh bowl.

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