Updated: Aug 13, 2020
I grew up surrounded by women who loved to cook. One of my first memories was standing on a chair and being handed a wooden spoon to stir the polenta while my Great Grandmother made the salsa de carne (meat sauce). I was 4 years old.
The kitchen was packed with women making all sorts of things. Angela, the head of my Grandmother's household help, was flipping tortillas on the comal. My Grandmother, just arriving for lunch from the hospital where she operated on patients all morning, dressed in her finest Escada ensemble, was making the salad dressing and my mother was grating the cheese while gabbing away with Amada who was making Jamaica juice. This was our kitchen every day. And though I only got to experience it when we went to Mexico to visit, being in that kitchen with so many incredible cooks made me the cook I am today.
Angela has been in my life since I was born. Her role in my Grandmother's household was primarily to run the kitchen. She came to my Grandmother when she was just 17 years old not knowing much about any other cuisine but traditional Mexican. As the years went on, following my Great Grandmother and Grandmother (both extraordinary cooks) in the kitchen, Angela evolved into what I consider, a Master Cook. She eventually used all of her knowledge to enhance every single recipe, her way. And God Bless her, but we have never been able to really get her to write down recipes because she always forgets ingredients or steps. So instead, I have taken to filming her so I can replicate her most amazing dishes. This is one of them. Her ceviche. Why is it so special? Maybe it's the combination of all the ingredients, or just the way she makes it. Or maybe her rule that you can't eat it until the next day after making it. But perhaps it's because she always served it straight out of the fridge. And sometimes she would place a bowl of ice under the serving bowl to keep the ceviche really really cold.
So why Granita? Well, it's my way to keep the ceviche extremely cold while adding a punch of flavor. And it really makes a huge difference.
****please note, if you do not spice, do not add the Serrano or Jalapeño . If you love spicy food, you can increase the amount of spice by adding more chiles. But beware, for some reason chiles are ridiculously more spicy in chilled, iced mixtures than warm ones.
2 Large tomatoes or 4 medium ones, peeled, seeds/pulp removed and chopped
1 small white onion chopped (try for a smaller chop)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 Chile serrano finely chopped
3/4 cup of chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon pickling juice (from the caper jar or olive jar)
2 tablespoons capers
1 cup ketchup
juice from 1/2 an orange
20 sliced green olives (pits removed)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1-2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
A large pinch of Mexican dry oregano
1 pound peeled and cleaned Shrimp, cut into 1/2inch pieces
3/4 pound Corvina, Grouper or Cod, cut into 1 inch pieces
GRANITA INGREDIENTS: 1/3 cup lime juice, zest of one lime, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup water, 1-2 jalapeños (or Serrano) OPTIONAL
In a medium bowl add cleaned and chopped shrimp with the juice of 2 limes. Toss the shrimp so that all pieces have been coated with lime juice. Cover and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours (or overnight). The shrimp will cook using the acidity of the lime juice.
In another medium bowl, add chopped fish and the juice of 3 limes. Toss the fish and lime juice so all the fish is coated with the juice. Cover and place in the fire for 1-2 hours or overnight. The fish will cook using the acidity of the lime juice.
Once shrimp and fish are done, Drain excess juice. Place both in a large bowl.
Add all remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Taste to adjust seasoning with salt.
Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
In a blender, blend all ingredients. If using jalapeño or Serrano, add as well.
Pour into a 1/4 size or Jelly Roll pan.
Place in freezer for 1 hour
remove from freezer and using a fork scratch and break up the frozen mixture
Return to freezer for 30 minutes.
Remove from freezer and scratch as well as break up frozen mixture
Repeat 2-3 more times until you have a fine flaky frozen mixture.
Scoop 2-3 spoonfuls of the granita into a wide bowl and add 3-4 spoonfuls of the ceviche on top. Serve with salted crackers.