Another weekend, another chance for some Backyard Chillin’. But what to do? Or better yet, what to cook? Now there’s nothin’ like firing up the grill or prepping for an all-day session with the smoker but sometimes you gotta change things up. This week we’re giving the grill (and smoker) a rest and are going to let the juices do the cooking. Literally. That means ceviche.
Now ceviche can mean something different depending where you live, but today we’re going to focus on the big two: Mexican and Peruvian. Die-hard fans on both sides can put up a pretty good argument on why their style is the best, but Backyard Chillin’ is willing to throw ourselves in the middle and attempt to pick a winner. This sounds like a battle that we’re going to enjoy! So let’s get our BYC judges Ivan and Miguel and get to work.
Mexican: Now there are plenty of variations to the seafood of choice here. You can use fish, shrimp, octopus, or squid. Or what the hell, you can do a “mixto” and throw it all in there. Let’s keep it simple on this one and go with the fish. Throw in some tomato, cebolla (onion in case you didn’t know), cilantro, chile, and cucumber all marinated with lime juice.
Peruvian: Again, fish of your choice, garlic, chile, red onion, and the secret ingredient: Tiger’s Milk. Pretty straightforward but to add some flair, Peruvian style ceviche will add toasted corn and yams to set it off. We didn’t use the yam and corn on this one but everything else is in there. Ivan and Miguel gave us a little background on what Tiger’s Milk in Peruvian ceviche actually is but you gotta watch the video to find out.
Round 1: The boys start off with the Mexican ceviche and you can immediately see the joy on their faces. “That’s good.” Next up is the Peruvian ceviche and once again, heads are nodding in approval. This looks like it’s going to be close. They can’t seem to decide at this point so they make the tough decision to go in for another round of both. But before that, don’t forget to cleanse the palette with your favorite beer. Now that’s something we all can agree on.
Round 2: Looks like more of the same. Pure satisfaction. “Mmmm, it’s good.” But there has to be a winner here so let’s put our heads together on this one and figure this out.
Now we knew this wasn’t going to be easy when this all started but damn, this sure looked fun. So it comes down to the classic Pico de Gallo flavors of the Mexican up against the chunkier fish and the “bang of flavors” of the Peruvian. Well, not sure if there was a clear winner in this battle other than Ivan and Miguel, but they reluctantly made a choice. And the winner is ……… the Mexican style ceviche. Again, this one was almost too close to call but this is a challenge we definitely recommend you take on your own. If you want, you can add the extras to give the Peruvian some extra pop or go for the “mixto” in the Mexican to add some different flavors and textures. It’s completely up to you. Just make sure to do it while you’re Backyard Chillin’!
Written By: Robert Martinez