When it is a sweltering 92 degrees outside at dinnertime, the last thing I feel like doing is making dinner for my family.
Who even has an appetite in this weather? My children do. They can make their hunger known to the entire neighborhood if I don’t stay on top of it. I have an idea for dinner for you that will take only 30 minutes of chopping and stirring. You won’t sweat much, I promise.
Standing near to a smoking hot grill or sautéing something on the stove top are not going to happen. The oven is definitely off limits. While what I would honestly like to do is go home, have a margarita on the rocks with salt and sit by a bowl of chips and guacamole in the shade for a couple of hours, I do actually need to feed my children something a bit more substantial for dinner. I dug in the back of my mind for a dinner idea while wandering around the nice cool grocery store a few days ago on a HOT day: ceviche!
Shrimp ceviche can be made authentically, taking hours in a fridge or it can be made in a quick, down and dirty way like I am about to share with you.
Frozen cooked and peeled (please for the love of sanity use peeled!) shrimp will defrost in no time in the summer heat right on your counter in a bowl, especially when chopped small for this particular dish.
After choosing your shrimp, grab a bag of already made tostada shells from the Latin section of the store. Choose either mango or pineapple for your sweet salsa addition (I even used frozen pineapple because I had some on hand!) pick up a few soft, ripe avocados, a couple of tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, limes, and cilantro and you have the start of a crunchy, cool satisfying meal. Are you feeling more refreshed already?
I walk in the door with my stash of fresh ingredients, leave the kids outside to play with the hose and set to work chopping and mixing. A few bowls of delicious toppings for tostadas land on the table before my kids even have a chance to run inside and tell me they are starving! A dinner like this is fun and nourishing for everyone.
Make the following recipes in the order listed for most efficient timing!
Pineapple (or Mango) Salsa:
2 cups chopped fresh or frozen pineapple or mango
1/3 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbs coconut (or cane) sugar
Pinch of salt
Combine all the ingredients and let marinate for 20 minutes.
1 pound high-quality medium frozen cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail removed, and cut into thin pieces
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup peeled, seeded and finely chopped cucumber
1 cup seeded and finely chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 serrano chile pepper, deveined, seeded and minced (optional)
Kosher salt, for seasoning
Place the chopped shrimp in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup lime juice and let stand for 15 minutes so the shrimp can marinate in the lime juice (any less and it won’t flavor properly).
Meanwhile, in a separate large mixing bowl, combine cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro, red onions and serrano chile to incorporate evenly. I used half of a serrano pepper for my children’s heat tolerance- but this is entirely optional. Combine the vegetables with the shrimp and mix well to incorporate. Season the ceviche with some salt to taste.
Juice from 1 lemon or lime
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt to taste
Chopped cilantro (optional)
Scoop out avocado meat and mash in a bowl with all the other ingredients.
Oh- and are you not sure your child will go for the ceviche? No problem. Pop open a can of black beans, drain, rinse and mix with a pinch of cumin, salt, and lime juice. Beans on top of the guacamole with the fruity salsa are sure to be a hit too.