How to Make Ceviche


Here’s a great summertime dish you can “cook” without turning on the oven: Ceviche.

Ceviche-Mama's High Strung

Ceviche (also known as cebiche, sebiche or seviche) is a Latin American dish made with raw fish that is marinated in citrus juice, herbs and spices until the translucent flesh turns opaque and becomes firm.

In Peru (where many people believe this dish originated), tangy ceviche is traditionally eaten in the morning as an eye-opener (read that: hangover cure). Its ingredients are pretty simple: bitter orange juice, onions and thinly sliced hot peppers, like aji amarillo.

I prefer to make my ceviche the Mexican way, with lime juice, cilantro, jalapeños and a little garlic. I serve it on top of fresh crunchy greens. The taste is so fresh and healthy it’s one of my feel-good meals. It’s very easy to learn how to make ceviche!

A few ceviche tips:

  • Buy fresh firm-fleshed ocean fish like halibut, grouper, flounder or red snapper that won’t fall apart in the marinade.
  • Marinade until the fish loses its translucency, or for about 4-hours.
  • Soak the onions for a little bit to take the “bite” out, so they don’t step on the other flavors.
  • Remove the seeds and veins from the chili peppers to control the heat.

Funny how the thought of eating raw fish doesn’t sound as absurd as it did a decade ago because, for many of us, sushi and sashimi have become a regular part of our diets!



Shrimp and Sweet Onion Pickle


Oh my gosh…

I made the most delicious appetizer over the weekend that took me right back to my Southern roots: Shrimp and Sweet Onion Pickle.

Shrimp and Sweet Onion Pickle. It's a little spicy and very pickle-y.

A little spicy and very pickle-y, this little condiment adds a tangy punch to everything. I ladled the chilled Shrimp and Sweet Onion Pickle into half-pint Mason jars and passed around little forks. Some of us ate it right out of the jar (including me), while a few rolled it into a tortilla (you can also spoon it on top of crackers).

I used Vidalia onions, but Walla Walla onions or any other sweet onion is a good option. If all you’ve got is white or yellow onions, you’ll definitely be adding a sharp, astringent bite to the pickle.

I’m sure you rolled your eyes when you saw the Mason jars in the image… because that trend is so last year five years ago. But hey, you’ve got to admit the little containers are a great way to serve some things and still make a fun addition to the table!

How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs


Beth writes: “This is a dumb question, but how do you boil an egg? My eggs always have an ugly green ring around the yolk… what’s up with that?”

Not to worry! Cooking eggs is not an eggs-act science (Sorry…I just had to say that).

That green ring is harmless, but really ugly, especially if you are making deviled eggs. It’s caused by a chemical reaction between the iron in the yolk and the sulfur in the white. You’ll get that ring if you hard boil the egg too long at a high temperature. Also, the older the egg is, the greener yolk will get.

Here’s my recipe for how to make hard boiled eggs, courtesy of my pals at the American Egg Board and the Incredible Edible Egg.


Because Mama is always a font of information (whether you want it or not), here are some other things you should know about How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs:

• Peel those eggs right after cooling because the egg contracts in the shell. When they’re cool, gently roll between your palms first and start peeling at the large end. You can also shake them in the pan to loosen the shells.
• Peeling eggs under cool running water helps the shells slip off.
• Fresh eggs are always harder to peel. Buy and refrigerate them for about a week before hard-boiling them.
• In the shell, you can refrigerate eggs for up to one week. If possible, put them back in the carton so they don’t absorb other refrigerator odors. Put a small “X” on the shell so you can tell the boiled from the raw.

Finally, NEVER try to cook an egg in the shell in the Microwave. It will explode. Yep, Mama learned this lesson a long time ago—the HARD way!


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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: