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Shrimp Ceviche in Cucumber Cups

Perfectly fresh seafood is essential when preparing ceviche. Buy only shrimp displayed on ice and labeled fresh, rather than previously frozen. It is always worth asking the fishmonger if you are uncertain. If desired, arrange the filled cups on a platter lined with ti leaves.

Ingredients:

  • 2 English (hothouse) cucumbers, each
      about 1 3/4 inches in diameter
  • 1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled, deveined and finely
      chopped
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • 2 Tbs. minced red onion
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. snipped fresh chives, plus 32 pieces
      fresh chives, each 1 inch long
  • 2 Tbs. minced red bell pepper
  • 2 Tbs. minced yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. sour cream
  • Paprika for sprinkling

Directions:

Peel the cucumbers, then cut them into slices 5/8 inch thick. You should have 16 slices total.

Using a fluted cookie cutter 1 1/2 inches in diameter, cut each cucumber slice to create a slice with fluted edges. Using a melon baller, scoop out a little of the center of each slice to form a well, being careful not to pierce the bottom. Transfer the cucumber cups to a baking sheet lined with paper towels, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. (The cucumber cups can be prepared up to 1 day in advance.)

In a nonreactive bowl, combine the shrimp, lime juice, red onion, cilantro, snipped chives, red and yellow bell peppers, ginger, cumin, a pinch of cayenne pepper, the salt and black pepper. Stir to mix, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours, stirring from time to time.

Just before serving, transfer the shrimp mixture to a fine-mesh sieve placed over a bowl to drain off all the liquid. Discard the liquid. Return the shrimp mixture to its original bowl and stir in the sour cream. Fill each cucumber cup with an equal amount of the ceviche.

Garnish each cup with 2 chive pieces and sprinkle with paprika. Arrange on a chilled platter and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Entertaining, Edited by Chuck Williams (Oxmoor House, 2004).