Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Azulina + Ceviche Verde

Pin It Now!

My friend Melissa embarked on an amazing adventure. First she headed to  Medellín, Colombia to work for a gold mining company, but within months she quit her corporate job and founded a company, Azulina, that exports hand-painted pottery made by artisan women from a rural village in Colombia. I fell in love with Azulina as soon as I saw Melissa post the pictures online and was totally inspired by her story. We got in touch and she sent me some beautiful custom ceramics. In honor of this beautiful Colombian pottery, we made ceviche! See below for the ceviche recipe and a discount code for 10% off your first Azulina order. 

As told directly to me from Melissa, here is how Azulina got started:

It all started because my best friend was getting married and I was in search of a really spectacular gift. 

Early last year I was settling into life in  Medellín, Colombia after I moved there in late 2011 to pursue a career in the gold mining industry. Thanks to its temperate climate,  Medellín is a delicious place to live and the food, dancing, people, and city views only make it sweeter. Beautiful tropical flowers grow year round and colorful, exotic fruit juices are served at nearly every restaurant and street corner. And what I love about the ceramics I import is that they embody this color, passion, and life that is so present in Colombia.

Check out the mini spoon set
Now back to how it all started. My friend Maggie's wedding was nearing and I was still present-less. After brainstorming with some of my girlfriends, one idea was to get ceramics from a place called "Carmen". So, one morning I hopped in my car and about 2 hours and several wrong turns later I finally stumbled upon El Carmen de Viboral, a small town in the hillsides outside of Medellin. There were beautiful ceramic plates adorning storefronts, gas stations, and hardware stores. The first ceramics store I found was filled, floor to ceiling, in blues, whites, reds, and yellows. 

I ordered a few of their classic blue and white pieces for my friend and since that moment, in February 2012, I haven't been able to stop thinking about the incredible opportunity that exists in this fabulous corner of the world. As the mining conference and travel season slowed down I decided to start studying the ceramics and pottery industry. I visited El Carmen de Viboral many, many times. I started to build a relationship with the owner of a family-owned and operated ceramics-making business. I also made sure that I would be sourcing the best quality possible from the best people possible--I sent the products to labs in the US to test for lead or cadmium, and to make sure they are hardy enough to withstand dishwashers, microwaves and ovens. I only want to sell a product that I would love to have and use daily. The women artisans who paint each and every piece have been specially trained in the El Carmen de Viboral tradition and some have been dedicated to their craft for decades. The ceramics passed all the tests and thus began Azulina!

In January of this year, I quit my job in the mining business to take Azulina full-time. You can now order all of the Azulina ceramics on line here.

I'd love to share the gift of Azulina with you. From now until September 30, 2013, use the discount code "fooDCrave" for 10% off anything in the store for your first order. Shipping is only $10 to anywhere in the US. 


Shrimp & Sea Bass Ceviche Verde, adapted from Epicurious. 

Check out the large serving bowl

For the ceviche you will need:

  • 1/2 lb of of fresh raw sea bass 
  • 1/2 lb of fresh raw shrimp
  • 4 limes (squeezed for the juice)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 of a medium-sized white onion
  • Fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp kosher salt 
  • 1/2 of a cucumber 
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce 

The first step is to steam the shrimp. Bring 1 quart of salted water to a boil. Then put 2 tablespoons of the lime juice and the peeled, deveined shrimp into the water, cover the pot, and return to a boil. As soon as the water starts to boil, take the pot off the heat and let the shrimp steam in the water for 10 minutes. 

While the shrimp is steaming, cut up all of your other ingredients. We used the mini spice bowls to organize our diced veggies! 

Cut the sea bass, avocado, onion, and cucumber all into small bite-sized pieces and place in a medium bowl.  Toss the fish and vegetables with kosher salt, hot sauce,  and the remainder of the lime juice. 

Once the shrimp are finished steaming, add them into the bowl and toss with the fish and vegetables. Cover the bowl with saran wrap or a lid and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes. The dish is ready when the edges of the sea bass are opaque. 

Serve with tortilla chips or tostadas! The acidity of this dish is perfectly balanced by the brightness of the fresh herbs.  This would the perfect thing to serve at an outdoor party or to savor the last few weeks of summer.

Don't forget to use the discount code "fooDCrave" at Azulina for 10% off anything in the store for your first order!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

We love hearing from our readers! After you submit a comment it will come to us for approval. We like to keep things clean and fun! So if you don't see it right away, don't worry, it will pop up soon.