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Karen Loeschner
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Hi Melanie ~ Yes, I've read recommendations for par-cooking any kind of fish for ceviche. I'm a traditionalist, though, and lucky enough to possess a cast iron stomach, so I personally dismiss those recs. (Although one bad experience will change anyone's practice, and I'm certainly not immune.) While I do say don't fear fish, your suggestion that it be really fresh is a good one. People seem to be much less forgiving with freshness when it comes to fish (compared to other proteins), even if only for psychological reasons.
Toggle Commented Aug 17, 2010 on Escape the Heat: Ceviche at DCFoodies.com
Great question, Jenna. I'm not sure of the recipe testing process for any cookbook (I imagine it varies greatly) except for Cooks Illustrated, which goes to great length detailing how they test recipes. (Pick up a copy next time you're in a bookstore or Whole Foods if you're not familiar with it -- it's a great resource for the home chef.) As for this Bittman book, I have to admit the recipes that have not worked well for me have been a result of "operator error". I recently made his apple pie with apples I had doubts about and sure enough, the crust was fantastic but the filling...eh, not so much. The benefit of this book is the quantity and quality of information that he provides about food, cooking and variations on either. That said, perhaps the process of writing an edited and vetted cookbook vs. a column written under a deadline might produce different results in the quality of the recipes. For example, my experience with WaPo Food section recipes has been atrocious!
Yes, Brendan, and just as bold as his book "The Best Recipes in the World." Luckily, he backs up both claims!
I was going to add a note referencing the vegetarian version, but you beat me to it, Vixen! Thanks!