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Mexican Style Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail recipe at bottom of page....

In past years traveling in Mexico I have experienced all manners of gastrointestinal adventures from the benign to the, "Oh my God, sorry about the car seat Mr. Driver!" and everything in between. Oddly, during my recent trip to Mazatlan I did not suffer any visits from Montezuma and that may be attributed to the dramatic lack of alcohol consumption when compared to prior visits as a younger guy, getting older and more responsible really sux. Really! So while not suffering alone in a hotel room I was able to travel with my family and friends to a number of great restaurants and sample more fresh and delicious gustatory offerings, of note was an evening at the Shrimp Bucket.

I will say, that the Shrimp Bucket, while not a Conde Naste recommended destination, is still a great place to enjoy - shrimp. Bet you could tell by the name huh? They do shrimp in a multitude of ways and they do it very well. 25 years ago I had their shrimp cocktail and this time it was just as good as the first time, the only difference this time was, I went prepared to dissect the dish with my taste buds to be able to recreate it at home. And I did! A little trial and error on Sunday and a little help from the internet, multiplied by a little creativity, and there it was! On my kitchen counter! Begging to be enjoyed by others, and so it was.

Mexican style differs from the usual style most are familiar with in North America. Normally the shrimp is served with a tangy horseradish infused tomato sauce. Now don't get me wrong, I love the regular way to make a shrimp cocktail, but the Mexican style is better. Really. I normally make my own cocktail sauce with horseradish, lime juice and chilli sauce and it is very good.

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Poaching liquid:

6 quarts water
3 celery sticks, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
6 cloves garlic, halved
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 Serrano chili, split
1 Tbsp sea salt or Kosher salt

48 raw whole shrimp with shells on (10 count), you can use previously frozen ones, just thaw completely

Cocktail Sauce:

2 cups shrimp stock (strained cooking liquid)
2 cups Motts Clamato juice or tomato juice
1/4 cup Heinz Chilli Sauce
Juice of 1 lime

2 Roma tomatoes (seeds removed), minced fine
1 large avocado, peeled and seed removed, minced fine
1/2 long English cucumber, (seeds removed) minced fine
2 celery stalks, minced fine
1 small sweet onion, minced fine
3 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro

Add all ingredients for poaching liquid except for the shrimp to a large stock pot. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Turn heat to high and bring liquid back to a full boil.

Drop the shrimp into the boiling water and cook at a boil for 3-4 minutes, do not over cook! The shrimp do not need to be cooked to death, keep them tender! Remove shrimp from hot liquid and place immediately in an ice water bath to cool.

Once shrimp are cold, remove heads and shell; put the shells and head back into the stock pot and simmer for another 1/2 hour. Remove pot from heat and let cool slightly to allow you to strain liquid through a sieve. Place strained shrimp stock into the fridge to chill. At this point if the shrimp weren't deveined, now would be a good time to do that. Place cleaned shrimp into the fridge to chill as well.

Mix the shrimp stock, Clamato juice, chilli sauce and lime juice into container. Place in fridge to chill.

Divide the onion, tomato, celery and cucumber into 6 servings and place in serving bowls or large hurricane glasses. Place 8 shrimp in each serving dish on top of the vegetables and pour the sauce over the top to cover everything. Garnish with 2 tablespoons of avocado and 1 teaspoon of cilantro. Make sure all ingredients are well chilled before serving.

Serve to those you think are worthy of a mind blowing taste experience.

This can be a main course when served with fresh rolls or as part of a large and waist expanding dinner offering if it is an appetizer. The best hint I can offer is to make sure all ingredients are well chilled - cold even. Luke warm is not a good idea. In Mexico this shrimp cocktail is offered hot as well as cold, I prefer the cold version, but if you want to experiment, fill yer boots!

Pacific Spotted Prawns would be best, but if not available, Tiger Prawns or Fresh Water Shrimp work well also. Get the head on 10 count though.

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