It’s bright, it’s colorful and it’s chilled.
In short, it’s the perfect dish for the dog days of August.
Rebecca Coats, a transplanted Southerner from the Gulf coast of Alabama, is sharing a special recipe
today that she calls Caribbean Scallop Ceviche.
"I first tasted it in the Caribbean" seven years ago.
In fact, she and her husband, Jeffrey, were on their honeymoon in Jamaica at the time. They were served
the dish at a local restaurant in Montego Bay.
"We loved it! So I came home and recreated it."
According to her spouse, who is the associate dean of students at Bowling Green State University, her
attempt at recreation was entirely successful.
Since then, Coats has served the scallop dish to friends and family alike. She calls it "ideal for
"It’s great during the summer because you don’t have to cook. There’s no heating up the
Most of the time she offers it as an appetizer.
"My husband will eat it as a main dish if it’s left over. I probably wouldn’t serve it to company
that way," although others might.
"It’s a pretty flexible recipe. You don’t have to use scallops; you can use shrimp."
Either tastes fantastic with the mix of grapefruit and orange segments, lime and lemon juices, bright
bell peppers and avocado.
But what exactly is a ceviche?
"That means that it cooks in the acid of the citrus juice," Coats explained. ‘That’s actually
what cooks the fish."
"I just really love a ceviche. It’s just a really clean, fresh taste."
Even so, the main preparation method is optional.
"If you’re not comfortable with cooking the seafood in the acids" from the fruit juice in a
24-hour marinade, "and some people aren’t, you can always cook the seafood separately and then
marinade it for (just) half an hour."
Coats said she has no trouble finding quality scallops in the frozen seafood section of any major
It’s a perfectly good alternative to fresh scallops, which are hard to find in this neck of the woods.
A one-pound bag of frozen scallops costs $6 or $7, she estimated.
"They’re probably a little less expensive than shrimp. And everything else in the dish is very
inexpensive, so it’s really a very economical dish, per serving."
Coats and her husband moved to Bowling Green in 2005 from Auburn University in Alabama.
One of her biggest culinary fans here is Linda Canterbury, a former co-worker.
"I worked with her in the athletic department" at BGSU, which is how she got to taste another
of Coats’ popular – and distinctly southern – recipes.
"I had never heard of a peanut butter-banana cookie, and these were delicious!" recalls
Canter-bury, who recommended Coats as a Cook’s Corner subject.
After working at BGSU for the past four years, Coats now plans a major career transition.
"I’m hoping to get a personal chef business started," she said. "I’ve been working on the
Website but haven’t started on the marketing yet."
A personal chef is ideal for busy people who don’t cook, or don’t have time to do so.
"I can go in their home, leave a week, two week’s worth of personal dinners for them, do the
clean-up, and they don’t have to think about it.
"The prepared meals are just waiting for them to get home."
Coats has now had enough time to observe regional differences in hospitality and style of living between
north and south, and believes there is less difference than there used to be.
"I’ve encountered just as much hospitality here as I have in the south," she said.
If you want to offer a touch of southern hospitality to a special summer guest, consider Caribbean
The active preparation time is ridiculously short: maybe 10 minutes, which includes chopping the
For those trying the recipe, Coats notes that the scallops will release a fair amount of liquid during
thawing. "They’re kind of like mushrooms; they hold a lot of water."
Just remove the scallops from their own liquid before adding them to the ceviche mixture.
The most quirky ingredient in the dish may be the Pickapeppa sauce, a tomato-based sauce that "has a
bit of a bite to it.
"It’s in the grocery store, in the same place you would find hot sauce."
1 lb. bay scallops
2 c. julienned bell peppers (use a variety of colors)
segments of 1 orange
segments of 1 grapefruit
1 shallot bulb, finely diced
1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
In a bowl, whisk together:
juice of 2 lemons
juice of 2 limes
1 T olive oil
1/2 T Pickapeppa sauce
pinch of kosher salt
Put the ceviche ingredients into the liquid mixture and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Garnish with cilantro and avocado before serving.