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Summer is a fantastic time to make the cool refreshing dish of ceviche, but with the weather we have here on 30A and the Gulf Coast, I make it year round. Of course it varies depending on seasonal ingredients, but it never ceases to please a small group or crowd. Ceviche is especially transportable, and is a great dish to eat at the beach, by the pool or on the boat. My family enjoys taking our boat out at sunset, and weekends to Crab Island in Destin. This is the perfect make ahead dish to bring along.

This is a recipe that is easy to change according to what seafood, produce or fruits are available, and what you are craving at the time. I often find myself  in the mood for lobster, cucumber and watermelon, but again, you need to choose what is in season for the best flavors to shine through.

This recipe is so good, that I like to make a larger batch when putting it all together. It is great as a topping on bruschetta as well as on eggs! This recipe can easily be cut in half to serve 4.

Ingredients:

  • 5  one pound fresh Florida lobsters, or Maine tails from fish monger at local fish market.
  • 4 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups red onions, diced
  • 1 cup sweet peppers (red, yellow, orange), diced
  • 4 jalapenos, very finely diced
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • 1 cup orange juice, with pulp
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons red chili paste (pastes found in produce section of grocery)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons ground salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 2 avocados for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Cut, chop, dice and squeeze all the above vegetables and citrus as directed. Mix with the red wine vinegar, orange juice and chili paste.
  2. Blanch lobster in boiling water for 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Put lobster on ice bath. Once cool, cut lobster into small pieces.
  3. Using kitchen shears, cut the top of the lobster tail from one end to the other being careful not to damage the meat. Rub your index finger inside the shell to loosen the meat from the shell, then gently remove the meat. Cut into 1/2-1 inch cubes.  Add to the mixture and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  4. To serve, plate lobster ceviche on a bed of butter lettuce or arugula, or place the bed of lettuce in a martini glass scooping mixture onto lettuce. Garnish with a lemon or lime wedge on the top or side of glass, and an avocado slice on the top of the mixture.

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Note: This amount will feed about 6-8 people as a main dish. It can also be served in butter lettuce as a wrap for a cocktail party, or on a bed of butter lettuce as a first course feeding about 10. Any substitutions for ingredients can be made based on preference and season. I often use fresh tuna, shrimp, and grouper. When using fish, I cut it into 1-2 inch pieces and place in mixture raw. Shrimp I like to parboil about 2-3 minutes, drain and add.

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