Ceviche in Cucumber Cups and My Tour of the CIA

This poplar Peruvian fish dish is "cooked" in lime juice along with onions and cilantro – the results are fresh and vibrant.

This very popular Peruvian dish is made with fresh pieces of raw fish (or shellfish) marinated in lime juice, onions and cilantro which slowly causes the fish to “cook”, in very much the same way that heating does. The results are bright and refreshing with an opaque appearance and firmed texture of cooked fish. This dish is also gluten-free, paleo friendly and low-carb.

This poplar Peruvian fish dish is "cooked" in lime juice along with onions and cilantro – the results are  bright and refreshing!

A few weeks ago I went on a fun tour to one of the world’s best professional culinary colleges – the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. 

Pictured from left to right is me, Jennifer from Bake or Brake, Kita from Pass the Sushi and Russ from The Domestic Man. I loved the tour and meeting new food bloggers – the group was small which was perfect to watch the classes in progress without interfering too much.

Lucky for me, that day they happened to be making ceviche in their Americas cooking class and I got to eat it for lunch. I LOVE a good ceviche, and I order it any chance I get when I go out to eat, so I was excited that they shared this recipe with me.

The good news – this is really easy to make and it looks so impressive if you’re having guests over. Their original recipe was made with scallops, but I opted for some fresh Striped Bass which I picked up at my local fish store. You can use any type of ocean fish or shellfish to make ceviche, the only rule of thumb is that it should be as fresh as possible, preferably caught the same day. This would make a wonderful appetizer for Christmas eve if your family likes to have fish. While you can prepare the cucumber cups and the vegetables for the ceviche a few hours ahead, ceviche tastes best when it marinates no more than an hour or two before you serve it.

Funny where life takes you, I went to art school and studied graphic design at Pratt in Manhattan which led me to become a graphic designer/digital photo-retoucher prior to Skinnytaste. I believe those experiences helped me and my love of food photography, but if I was to go back to school now, I would LOVE to attend the CIA or at least take some classes their. They are teaching our next generation of leaders – chefs such as Anthony Bourdain, Duff Goldman, Micheal Simon, Cat Cora, just to name a few are all CIA graduates. I mean, doesn’t this chef jacket and hat belong on me?

What’s really cool about the school is that all students work in 3-week course rotations, the senior class works at one of three CIA’s restaurants
– both the front and back ends. So during our first night there we
were served by the graduating students, with meals that the students
prepared. We ate at the new French Bocuse Restaurant, and the food was
phenominal. The highlight of my meal was watching the students make ice
cream in 30 seconds with a hand cranked mixer and dry ice – amazing!

If you’re ever in the Hudson Valley, you can go on a group tour and
dine at one of their three award winning student-staffed restaurants. And if you’re thinking about pursuing a career in the the culinary arts, or have kids that are trying to decide their future, check out the CIA . A 4 year degree is completed in 3 years, they have new classes starting every 3 weeks and offer classes in culinary arts, baking, nutrition, and culinary science. What’s more, they boast about their 99% job rate in leadership positions after graduating which is unheard of these days! 


Ceviche in Cucumber Cups
Adapted from The Culinary Institute of America’s Entertaining Cookbook
Servings: 15 • Size: 2 cups • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 1 pt
Calories: 31 • Fat: 1 g • Protein: 4 g • Carb: 2 g • Fiber: 0 g • Sugar: 1 g
Sodium: 16 mg • Cholesterol: 8 mg

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz fresh raw fish fillet such as striped bass, finely diced
  • 1 medium seeded tomato, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp minced red onion
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced
  • 1/4 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2  tbsp olive oil
  • 3 drops tabasco sauce
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime, (1 or 2 limes)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 2 large cucumbers (thirty 1/2-inch-thick slices)
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine the sea bass, tomato, onion, chopped cilantro, jalapeño, bell
pepper, oil, and Tabasco.

Add the lime juice and toss to coat the fish. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour depending on the size of the fish cubes, stirring occasionally. Look at the fish and you can see the flesh changing over
time in the marinade, you are looking for a solid appearance in the
flesh vs. an opaqueness all the way through the center of the fish.

Trim the cucumber slices with a round cutter to remove the rind. With a melon baller scoop
out a shallow pocket in the middle of the cucumber slices—do not cut all the way through the
slice.

Just before serving, fill the cucumber cups with the ceviche. Garnish each ceviche cup with a
small dot of sour cream and a cilantro leaf, if desired.

The Culinary Institute of America provided me with travel, lodging,
and a tour of their campus; all opinions expressed in this post are my
own.