Attention food lovers! This is one of the best dishes I’ve made in a long time. I’m pretty good at picking winner recipes and making the right adjustments for my palate. Every now and then I get a dud – you don’t hear about those – but usually I can make them work, work really well in some cases, like this one.
This delectable appetizer (or dinner) is the lovechild of a Rick Bayless recipe from Serious Eats and a similar but different recipe from Eating Well. I took the elements I liked from each and came up with my own version of Mexican Shrimp Cocktail.
I made this for dinner, not an appetizer, since there are only two of us. It would be a smart choice for one of those hot and steamy nights since you only need the stove to boil the shrimp for a short time. I ladled the shrimp cocktail into a small bowl and put that on a plate with Sauteed Kale with Smoked Paprika and cheese quesadillas. Jim had club crackers on the side and I had chopped avocado.
The leftovers were equally fantastic. At the end, after “someone” picked the shrimp out of the leftovers, I was left with a little leftover tomatoey liquid with diced veggies. It tasted like a really good gazpacho.
I used the full 1/4 cup of hot sauce. I did a mix of Texas Pete and Sriracha. It was pretty spicy so only use that much if you like a lot of heat.
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
You’ll need a medium pot with lid, colander and bowl.
- 1 pound small shrimp – buy American only, don’t support Asian slave labor!
- 1-1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1-1/2 cups diced cucumber
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced red or sweet onion
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 2-4 tablespoons hot sauce (I used 2 tablespoons Texas Pete and 2 tablespoons Sriracha and ooh baby, it was spicy!)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (1 juicy lime)
- 3/4 cup clam juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Avocado, diced
- Saltines, club crackers or tortilla chips
- Cheese (and salsa) quesadillas
Fill a pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp, cook until pink and firm, 10 to 30 seconds. Drain shrimp in a colander and then rinse under cold water until cool.
Stir together the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, ketchup, hot sauce, lime juice and clam juice in a bowl. Taste to see if it needs salt, pepper or more hot sauce. Add shrimp and stir well.
Serve immediately or, even better, chill it for up to 4 hours.
Serve with diced avocado, crackers or chips, and/or cheese quesadillas.