This Mango Avocado Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche recipe embodies most things I love about traveling to Florida and to the Caribbean. It’s my contribution to #foodbloggers4FL, in our campaign to raise awareness of the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, and also now by Hurricane Maria. Plus the story, in her own words, of a personal Florida Keys friend, who is still not able to return home.
As we were writing our posts for those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, word spread about Hurricane Irma’s march across the Caribbean, headed toward Florida. The same group of Food Bloggers decided to try to help raise awareness for those affected areas, too. And now, Hurricane Maria as well.
Hurricane Irma struck very close to home for us. I was born in South Florida (even though I have lived most of my life in Tennessee). I lived through a hurricane as a young child. We travel to Florida often to fish, we have also fished the Keys and in the Caribbean. And we have close friends who live in the Keys.
Mr. Saucy and I have been friends with the Delashmit family from almost the very moment that we moved to East Tennessee from Nashville. Pat and Jim are the couple we spend every single Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve with, for 20 plus years. We watched their two kids, Amy and Drew, go through high school and college, and get married and have families of their own. Drew worked for us at our fly shop and after graduating from the University of Tennessee, fulfilled his dream of becoming a Florida Keys fishing guide.
He and his wife Allison, along with their two young sons, live on Cudjoe Key. As Irma smashed her way through the Caribbean, they packed up their children, their most prized possessions, clothes and Drew’s livelihood, his flats boat, and safely evacuated to Tennessee the Wednesday before Irma struck.
Once they were here, we all watched the radar in horror as Hurricane Irma made its first landfall directly on Cudjoe Key at 9:10, on September 10th. The lack of any news coming from the area was awful, and what news did come was not good. Allison posted on Facebook to update her friends. Her words of faith and hope, which were uplifting, showed amazing strength in the face of adversity; I asked to share them, in part, with you. She said:
“Hello again, friends. I’ve received lots of texts and calls from you and thought I should provide an update. Unfortunately, our house has the exact same coordinates as the landfall of Irma (In Cudjoe Key). We watched helplessly this morning, as the radar moved the storm over our house. We have very little knowledge of the storm’s wind impact to our house, or the storm surge that came through during/after. Honestly, I have let go of the house; if it’s standing, I’ll be grateful, if it’s not, I’ll be grateful.
The next few days and weeks will be hard. We will need (continued) support from our friends and family. But, in the end, we will be fine. This storm will not define us, it will not break us. It was a precious lesson about love, life, family and what is really important.
My faith is strong and unwavered. I feel the hand of the Lord upon me, and I am not afraid. Our God is an awesome God, and I will praise him in this storm.
Many have asked how they can help…I know the answer. You can come visit. As soon as the clean up is done, and the new normal is upon us come visit the Keys. Eat at our restaurants, stay at our hotels (or with me), and fish with the best fishing guides around (I can hook you up). That’s how you can help.”
Fortunately, their house was still standing, with some damage. As I write this post, Drew is headed back to the Keys to assess the damage to their home and the Keys infrastructure before Allison and their boys return. The water to their home was restored just this morning, but they still have no electrical service. It’s going to be a long road to recovery.
Until you can get to Florida or your favorite Caribbean destination, they desperately need your help. Your donation to any of the charities listed below will help them continue the amazing work they are doing in the areas affected by Hurricane Irma and which will also need your help from Hurricane Maria.
The SOS Foundation Serving the Florida Keys
Miami Diaper Bank
Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida
South Florida Wildlife Center
Heart of Florida United Way
All Faiths Food Bank
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency
Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands
St. John Community Foundation
And since you can’t travel to those areas right now, why not bring them to you in the form of food? This recipe for ceviche instantly came to my mind when thinking of all of the things that epitomize Florida and the Caribbean: Citrus fruits of lemon, lime and orange; Mango; avocado; shrimp and scallops.
I used all of the citrus fruits for zest for both flavor and color, as well as the lime juice. Then I added mango and avocado chunks, along with shrimp and scallop pieces. To that was added diced cucumber, red onion, minced jalapeno and chopped fresh cilantro.
This ceviche is a beach vacation, in a glass. I hope you’ll try it.
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut into 4 chunks
- 8 large sea scallops, cut into sixths
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ⅓ cup lime juice
- 1 cup diced cucumbers
- 1 cup diced mango
- 1 cup diced avocado
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Cover and gently toss every 5 minutes, for 25 minutes (or until the seafood becomes opaque)
- Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.