Nayarit-Style Shrimp & Crab Ceviche

This is a recipe.
I swear.
But first a letter to those who didn’t make the cut but deserve an honorable mention:

Dear Ex-Boyfriends,

Thank you for teaching me the following things:

  1. How to kiss with my eyes closed.  Yeah, it used to be a problem…a really creepy, adolescent problem.  It has since been rectified, thank you.
  2. How to recognize a jackass/pushover/train-wreck/mama’s-boy from 500 feet across a room.  I have shared this knowledge with my girlfriends as needed & by the way, they would like to thank you, too.
  3. Don’t snoop & don’t look at emails/webpages left on the screen.  Most of the time you are going to find a lot of sketchy stuff that should really go unfound…um…I’ll leave it at that. Yuck.
  4. You are probably not crazy & I am probably not crazy but the weird combination of you + me sends us flying into whack-a-doodle status & therefore we can not be friends. Like, don’t even follow me on twitter/instagram/facebook.  It’s that deep.
  5. Your grandmothers, mothers, & even fathers are some of the best cooks I have ever met.  I’m glad I paid attention in the kitchen all those years because quite frankly, sitting next to you on the couch while you watched SportCenter re-runs never really sounded all that appealing.
You are probably thinking, “Why the hell did she just over-share?”.
Well, as I was making the Shrimp & Crab Ceviche that I am sharing with you today, my fiancé came into the kitchen & asked, “Where did you learn to make this? You aren’t even Mexican.”

I hesitated….”Um, my ex-boyfriends’ mom taught me…”

He blinked at me & I cringed awaiting his reply…
“Fair enough”, he said & walked away slurping up his ceviche without a second thought.
Wow.
Leave it to a guy to look past anything having to do with an ex as long as it involves a good meal.
As I stood there, chopping away, thankful I had dodged a potentially awkward bullet, I had a flash back to a time long ago, standing there in the kitchen with countless “mama’s” as they shared their knowledge with me.  I couldn’t help but be reminded of all of the valuable life lessons (like the ones above) I learned along the way.  Fortunately, each one of these memories is also accompanied by some really great recipes.  So great, in fact, that I couldn’t possibly feel good about posting any of them without acknowledging them in some way.
So here you go: An excerpt from a chapter in the cookbook which is my life…

& Lord knows I’m nowhere near finished writing it…

Enjoy!

 Nayarit-Style 
Shrimp & Crab Ceviche 

First collect all of your veggies & if your shrimp is frozen, defrost & devein it.  There’s A LOT of chopping that is involved in this recipe so it’s all about preparation.  The great thing is that once it’s all prepped, this recipe comes together in no time!
So I kinda cheat on this recipe but it’s only because I never actually plan on making it.  By the time I think about it, I’m usually low on cash or time.  This imitation crab is a perfect solution for both.  Now after years of making it, I actually prefer the fake stuff.  I think it holds up better in the ceviche & it’s less fishy than low-quality real crab.  But if you’re ballin’ & you can get your hands on the fresh stuff, handle it.
Chop the “crab” & the shrimp into bite-sized chunks.  I just wanted to show you this crab-ish meat is legit even if it is fish. Don’t judge.
Now after the shrimp are clean & ready to cook, add the juice of about 2-3 limes in a bowl & toss in the shrimp.  The acidity of the juice will “cook” the shrimp after about 20-30 minutes.
(See the pink color developing? That means it’s cooking!)
 If you are freaked out by eating shrimp like this, no worries! Toss the limey shrimp into a pan & cook until just barely opaque. Remove the shrimp & cut into bite sized chunks when cooled.
Chop & combine the tomato, onion, cucumber, & jalapeño. Easy right?
Now add the chopped shrimp, crab, & cilantro.

Now it’s time to season this all up.  I like to add El Pato which as mentioned in my last blog, is a tomato-based sauce with onions, jalapenos, & other spices added to make it taste like salsa.

If you don’t have EL Pato sauce available you can use tomato sauce & season it yourself.  For salsa, I like to add Herdez Salsa Casera because it’s a little more flavorful than other jarred salsas I’ve tried.  Plus, it’s the perfect size for this recipe. Again, if you don’t have Herdez available, then your favorite salsa will work too.

Ok, before you say, “oh gross”, just hear me out.  A tablespoon of ketchup makes all the difference in this recipe.  It adds a sweetness I haven’t been able to reproduce using other ingredients.  I’ve made it with & without ketchup & when I leave it out, people will tell me that it tastes different.  I agree. Once all the sauce is in there, add your spices, a couple of dashes of hot sauce (like Tapatio), cover with plastic wrap & place in the fridge for about an hour. It helps all the flavors develop and gives the shrimp & crab time to absorb some of those spices!

Now comes the moment where you have to ask yourself the question:

How much am I willing to sacrifice to get a really authentic ceviche experience??
A homemade tostada is by far the best way to eat this ceviche.  This being said, you can eat it with baked tostadas, tortilla chips, on cucumber rounds, or just a spoon.  So do your workout, save up your calories, & do it right.  Fry a tortilla in some canola oil & give yourself a break, man!

Fry the tortillas until they are golden brown, drain on a paper towel & lightly salt if desired.  They are so pretty even if they did kind of fall apart  🙂

Some people like to add avocado to the ceviche directly but I find it gives the juice a cloudy color so I usually top the ceviche with slices of avocado instead but who am I to tell you what to do.  Go with your gut, eat with your heart & feed your soul.

¡Buen Provecho!

Nayarit-Style Shrimp & Crab Ceviche

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Nayarit-Style Shrimp & Crab Ceviche

Ingredients

  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2-3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 large cucumber, diced (I use english cucumber because it has less seeds but you can use whatever you like)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 10-12 jumbo shrimp, cleaned & deveined
  • 4 oz. Crab meat (fresh, imitation, or canned...you're choice).
  • 1- 8oz can El Pato tomato sauce (or regular tomato sauce...just add more spices!)
  • 1-8oz can of Herdez Salsa Casera (or any jarred salsa)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 tsp hot sauce (I use Tapatio but any hot sauce works)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 avocados, sliced (for topping)
  • Tostadas, tortilla chips, or cucumber rounds for serving

Instructions

  1. Place uncooked shrimp in bowl & pour in 1/4 cup of lime juice. Set aside & allow to "cook" approximately 20-30 minutes. Alternately, you may cook shrimp with lime juice in a pan over medium heat until just opaque. Set aside and let cool.
  2. While shrimp is cooking/cooling, chop tomatoes, onions, cucumber, and cilantro & place in large bowl.
  3. Roughly chop crab bite sized pieces & add to bowl with veggies. Add shrimp with lime juice to bowl with crab & veggies. Toss to combine.
  4. Add El Pato sauce, Herdez salsa, ketchup, Tapatio, & spices to bowl. Mix all the ingredients together, cover with plastic wrap & place in refrigerator for about an hour before eating.
  5. Serve on tostada shells toppping each with slices of avocado. Alternately you can serve this dish as a "aperitivo" (appetizer) on tortilla chips, cucumber rounds or you can just eat with a spoon!
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