The other night my husband declared: “Ceviche is the perfect dinner for parents.” And the only reason he’s not a total a**hole for saying this is that, well, he’s sort of right. Ceviche is brilliant because you can do 90% of the (very minimal) prep work at the same time you’re preparing your kids’ meal; you don’t have to worry about overcooking it or letting it get cold (because it’s supposed to be cold, yo); and it goes GREAT with a cocktail. Oh, and that last 10% of effort? It’s basically stirring and tortilla chip bag-opening.
The biggest hurdle to get over with ceviche is the whole worrying-you-might-give-yourself-food-poisoning part, so buy from a source you really trust. My local favorites are Hapuku Fish Shop at Market Hall (where my kids treat the crab tank like an aquarium) and the stellar offerings delivered by Good Eggs.
Squeeze roughly a billion limes. You can do this whenever you have the time and preferably when child labor is available. (Squeezing citrus is a primo kitchen chore for minis.) 2 cups of juice is ideal. Keep refrigerated.
Slice 1/2 pound of the freshest halibut EVAH into 1/4 inch slices (listen to Kenji!), put the sliced fish in a jar & cover with lime juice. Seal and place in refrigerator for 30-40 minutes, swirling it around every 10 minutes or so until the outside of each slice is opaque. (That means it’s cooked.) My boy, Kenji, thinks this is too much time, but I’m in the better-safe-than-sorry camp. Once you get confident with your ceviche game, feel free to play around with the “cooking” time.
Drain juice, reseal jar, and return to the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble.
Finely chop a handful of cilantro, and thinly slice 3 or 4 spring onions and 1 serrano pepper. (P&V tip: Slice the serranos on a mandoline for wafer thin —ha! — slices. And watch it with the digits, y’all.) Pop all of it in a bowl in the fridge for later.
Once the kids are in bed (PRAISE), take your fish out of the fridge, give it a few good swirls of olive oil and a hearty sprinkling of kosher salt. Stir in prepped cilantro, spring onions, and serranos. Cube up a ripe avocado and gently stir into the ceviche. (Aggressive stirring = fish guacamole, so please don’t do that.)
Season to taste and serve with the fanciest tortilla chips you can get your hands on. (Our house favorite is Have’a Corn Chips, which get their salty flavor from soy sauce and are all kinds of brilliant with ceviche.) I’m not telling you what to do, but uh, a Blood Orange Margarita or a Paloma would be nails with this.