What I Was Reminded About In the Desert

What I Was Reminded About In the Desert
I recently traveled to the Southwest, the Arizona desert to be exact.  For only a few short days I was celebrating two very different, yet wonderful things: a milestone birthday of a parent and 26 of years of friendship with a remarkable group of women, #solidsix. It was an emotional trip to say the least, filled with memories but also realizations about aging. Much of this trip was connected by celebratory meals. I did not have incredible food on this trip.  I did not have anything so amazing that I need to try to recreate in my own kitchen. But it was, once again, a powerful reminder about food and what I love most about it. My mentor and very dear friend Suzi O’Rourke taught me this many years ago: food brings people together. It comforts us, nourishes us and connects us.

This shrimp ceviche recipe was inspired by my visit to the desert and by the laughter and tears I shared with family and dear friends. Ceviche has always been a favorite of mine, and has been popular in the United States since the early 1980’s.  Before that, this seafood dish was most commonly found only in coastal regions of Latin America and the Caribbean.  Made from raw fish or other seafood, cooked (or cured) in citrus juices, it is mixed with spices and vegetables.  Ceviche, I noticed, is very popular in Arizona, and rightfully so, a refreshing chilled dish is the perfect food to combat that dry desert heat.  My recipe has some spice, but that can easily be adjusted up or down as desired.  There are countess variations of this delicious dish and almost no way to mess it up.

Southwestern Shrimp Ceviche

May 18, 2017
: 4
: 20 min
: 15 min
: 35 min
: easy


  • 1 pound cooked shrimp, raw, peeled, deveined and roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and small dice
  • 1/3 cup red onion, small dice
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 small Persian cucumbers, peel on and small dice
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 avocado, sliced for garnish
  • Step 1 In a medium mixing bowl add the cooked shrimp, jalapeño, red onion, scallion, cucumber, cilantro, diced tomatoes with juice, lemon zest, lemon juice, lime juice, hot sauce, and salt. Using a rubber tip spatula, mix well to incorporate.
  • Step 2 Cover with plastic wrap and chill/marinate for at least 15 minutes, this “cooks” the shrimp.  Try to mix well halfway through.
  • Step 3 To serve, mix again, divide among the serving dishes, garnish with sliced avocado and serve with tortilla chips.

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