Peruvian Ceviche – The Ahee Aha momentby Chez Laura

babychefsI am so glad that I grew up in a large family- life never had a dull moment, was always full of surprises,  and everyone always brought something unique to the table.  I actually have 6 sisters…yes, there are 7 girls in our family and no boys…except for my lone father who was absolutely a saint!   Each of us girls  posses certain talents – quilting, scrap booking, sewing, ceramics,  mentoring, patience, and sports.  My passion?   Cooking!  Growing up,  I just loved to be in the kitchen with my grandma, learning the art of blending flavors and then feeling the pride as others enjoyed my ‘masterpiece’.    Everybody knows that when I’m in the kitchen, I’m happy!  

I love that I get to  share my favorite recipe’s with you all on this blog,  but with so many to choose from I didn’t know where to begin.  I started to pour through my box of favorites, and then the answer fell in my lap… I hope you enjoy this quick bio about my brother in law, Juan, along with the recipe that I was so inspired to make.

A wonderful picture of Juan and his son Daniel

A fabulous picture of Juan and his son Daniel

Juan, the baby of the family, has 3 older brothers and 2 older sisters.  Juan’s father was an honored pilot in the Peruvian Airforce, and just months after his retirement he perrished in a plane crash in the Peruvian mountains.   Juan was just a child at the time of his father’s death, but his family was close-knit, and his older brothers helped him grow into a fine young man.   Ever since he could remember, Juan hoped to become an American citizen.   He migrated to America with an older brother and sister, and passionately jumped through all of the formal hoops to become an American citizen.  He worked in an institution, scrubbing toilet’s to put himself through college …  and today he has a masters degree.  He wanted to uphold the rights of our country, so Juan joined the Army Reserves and has fought for our country for nearly 20 years.   We are all so very proud of him!  At times, he seems to appreciate the rights and freedoms of our country more than many Americans who were born in this country.  During this time he met and fell in love with my sister Jewel.   My sister and Juan were married and have been so now for over 20 years and I am happy to say have 4 beautiful children…

cevicheOver the years, Juan and I have had some deep conversations about life, the differences between American and Peruvian culture and of course, cooking.  I told him about a 95 year old man that would come into my work establishment every Tuesday, just to bring me his very own ‘Cuban Ceviche’ which was awesome.   Juan argued that civeche originated in Peru and that there was no ceviche like Peruvian Ceviche… so, of course, I had to try Juan’s recipe.  Okay, not his recipe – his mom did ALL of the cooking in their house!

Oh My Gosh was he ever right …this was the best ceviche recipe I had ever made or tasted! It  has a ‘not-so-secret’ secret spice called Aji (I pronounced it AGEE, but it is actually pronounced AHEE) and it is unbelievably delicious! I found this online at http://www.yanuk.com . When cooking the corn, a few seeds of anise are added…like I said, oh my gosh, what a flavor!  The sweet potatoes and corn are cooked ahead of time  and refrigerated and all eaten alongside the civeche. What a flavor-fusion  explosion!!!!  If you like ceviche, you are going to love this one!!!

thumbnailJUAN’S PERUVIAN CEVICHE / Marinated Fish

Ingredients :

2 1/4 lbs filet of sole or any fresh, white, tender fish
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
Juice of 8 to 10 freshly squeezed key limes (key limes make this dish sweeter)
5 finely chopped aji limo / Chili ( I use the Aji chili paste, it is easiest!)
Salt & Pepper
1½ tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 to 5 cloves crushed garlic
3 leaves of lettuce
3 yellow sweet potatoes
8 1-inch slices of maize corn
1 ají limo / Chili cut in thin slices for decoration

Preparation:

Boil sliced corn with a few anise seeds.  Boil sweet potatoes, peel and cut into slices 1 inch (2 cm) thick.  Wash fish with water and salt. Cut in squares 1/2 inch thick.  Slice onion thinly; add salt.  Cut aji limo in halves, seeded and deveined.  Place fish on serving dish and season with crushed garlic and salt. Add finely chopped aji limo, key lime juice, pepper and chopped cilantro. Let set for 10 minutes (taste juice to check hotness). Place onions over fish.  Decorate the platter with the refrigerated slices of corn, aji limo, sweet potato and leaves of lettuce.  This makes 8 servings.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do! And, please be sure to send us your favorite recipes along with your stories behind them!

Okay – now for today’s special at Homespun Hearth!   Today is your day to purchase any Princess Mirah quilting batik fabric and save 15%!  Enter Code CLB15 to receive your discount.  Click Here to see our collection!

Twittering Around in Circles

Okay, so Laura has asked me to give you all a little insight into who is on the Homespun Hearth Customer Care Team. As many of you know, my name is Teresa Grundman, and I am the founder and president of what was intended originally to only take up 2 or 3 hours of my day. Haha! I started Homespun Hearth in early 2001, and it quickly snowballed into a much larger venture than I ever could have imagined. Now, I could go through my life, but we actually have that loaded (at least it is supposed to be), in the About Us section on our new website. So…. zooming ahead 9 years – right now I have been trying to get my arms around a zillion things – all of them stretching my technological, mental, and physical capabilities waaaay further than the brain cells and body really wants and is able to stretch! Between the Podcasts, Blog, Twittering, Videos, Live Chat, and Widgets, together with learning how each of these works, plus endless hours as honorary taxi driver to my 3 RAPIDLY growing boys, and the crazy travel schedule my husband has for his job, I have come to realize that I should have bought Starbucks stock a long time ago.

Brent, Sean  & Austin in 1998!

Brent, Sean & Austin in 1998!

So, as I mentioned, I have a lot going on in addition to Homespun Hearth. Brent (16)- our oldest, is a sophmore who carrys a very heavy academic load, and I can’t believe that I already have to look up to him. He aspires to be a veterinarian, and he wants to get his degree right here at CSU — woohoo — a state school! He is just about ready to receive his Eagle Scout Award, and is preparing for the “Super Strenous” High adventure scout hike this summer – 82 miles of grueling terrain in Philmont, NM. And, he somehow talked my husband into joining them – I am never going to hear the end of it!.

Sean (14) is our ‘entertainer’ – this kid is bound to be in the lights somehow – whether it is playing football or baseball, singing in a musical or playing his guitar in a band, or just working a crowd. He has so many interests, and is certain he will be playing football at USC someday. His ‘back-up’ plan is to be an engineer like dad. Whatever he does, I’m sure it will be something just ‘totally fun and cool’. He is looking forward to starting High School next year, and like Brent, I can’t believe I have to look up to him already, too! Wow – these kids sure grow fast!

Austin (11) is our ‘Kool Kat’ – and so far I don’t have to look up at him! After all, he is my baby. Austin is an avid baseball player and he plays on a competitive team. At one point he thought he might like football, but after a tackle from Sean that left Austin with a broken wrist, he pretty much decided that he didn’t really like to get pounded. Although, somehow he came away from the baseball game last night with a black eye! Apparently one of his teammates ‘tipped’ the ball and Austin just didn’t see it coming. Austin is also an avid scouter and he also is the drummer for Sean’s band, and hopes to go to UCLA one day.

So, the last member of my family (ok, not counting the veritable zoo that includes a Large Dog (Bandit), a Chinese Water Dragon, a Ferret (Rascal), a Gerbil (Nibbles), 6 fish (no names)), is my dear husband, Ron. All I can say is that he must be some kind of saint … I think he has done very well in accepting that he must come to terms with a man’s worst nightmare …. Fabric!

Well, I’m off to twitter about! I hope you have a wonderful weekend – and stop by tomorrow for a fun contest we will be having!