I made ceviche Thursday night. I bought some halibut from the enthusiastic fisherman with neon colored signs at the farmers market. It had never been frozen and was caught the day before - I love the farmers market! The farmers market also provided me with yellow and red tomatoes, ivory and green bell peppers, jalepenos, banana peppers, and red onions. Sadly, I had to go across the street to QFC for limes, an orange, and some cilantro. I set up a cutting board on our balcony (it's way too hot to be indoors) and sliced, diced, minced, or zested all the above ingredients, threw them in a bowl and tossed it all together with plenty of lime juice and salt. Then I put it in the fridge to "cook" for 24 hours. Both acid (lime juice) and salt are capable of denaturing proteins which does two things: it destroys most pathogens (why salt is used in preservation), and this is also what we know as cooking. Heat denatures proteins in essentially the same way acid or salt can. What a brilliant discovery for a hot day - cooking without heat!
The ceviche was delicious, however the 24 hours of marination made all the veggies lose their umph and the flavors melded together more so than I was hoping. Next time I think I'll marinate the fish overnight and then combine it with all the vegetables just before serving. This way it will taste even fresher and more refreshing!