Here is my take on the Peruvian revanchist quarrels with neighboring states (Chile, Bolivia) going back to the late 19th Century. It’s the Peruvian national dish plus cannon balls flying around aimlessly. Ceviche is genius; the freshest fish “cooked” briefly in citrus with other flavorings. Here I’ve used black cod, a sustainable, locally caught white fish. But you can substitute halibut, or scallops or even shrimp. But the flesh needs to be firm. Hot pepper is essential but the sweet fruit of the mango off sets that. The melon is balled to resemble, guess what. You will need a melon baller as well as a sharp knife. Mango is a bit tricky to slice efficiently so make sure your blade is sharp. Other ingredients might include cooked potatoes (rather traditional) as well as corn. Great for hot summer days; afterwards you can do cannon balls in the pool. —pierino
pound firm white fish
ripe, sweet melon of your choosing
juice from three to five small limes
1 small piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into thin strips
Four or five washed lettuce leaves
In This Recipe
Cut your fish into small dice and juice the limes
Slice the serranos*
Chop the garlic and sliver the ginger (you will need about 1 tablespoon) of the latter.
In a large bowl combine the fish with the lime juice, chiles, garlic, ginger and a large pinch of salt. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for one hour.**
Meanwhile peel and then thinly slice your mangoes.
Place the lettuce leaves at the bottom of the bowl in which you intend to present the dish, and then arrange mango slices decoratively around the sides (and they are there to be eaten).
Halve the melon on the equator, scoop out the seeds, reach for your melon baller.
Spoon out the now “cooked” ceviche into the serving bowl. Top with balls of melon.
Notes to cook: *some recipes call for habanero chiles, in which case vaya con dios
** Again, some recipes will tell you to “cook” the ceviche for only 15 minutes. I’ll leave that up to you.
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.