This past weekend I lucked into an impromptu girls night and because it was last minute and everyone had been ridiculously busy with various things all week, we didn’t want to stress about dinner or do anything really time consuming, we all just needed to RELAX. So the plan became casual nibbles. We each brought something and prepared it there over drinks. My contribution was Coctel De Camarones aka Mexican Shrimp Cocktail which I have been trying to perfect for awhile, ceviche (which I make frequently and love) and guacamole (a nice clean, simple, flavorful and chunky recipe).
As we approach holiday season, I decided to share these easy and healthy Mexican appetizer recipes this week and next, as a healthy and crowd pleasing entertaining option. It’s a fun and casual alternative to heavier meat and cheese plates, don’t get me wrong, I love a good charcuterie platter but when you are hosting or attending parties weekly or more, a lighter option is can be very welcome.
This week I am sharing the Shrimp Cocktail recipe using fresh, local BC hand peeled pink shrimp which are second only to the sidestripe shrimp in delicate, delicious flavour. Next week I will share my Tuna Ceviche with BC line caught, frozen-at-sea tuna and my guacamole recipe (although the guacamole isn’t made with many local ingredients, it did round out the Mexican themed trio nicely). For the shrimp recipe I swapped out the ubiquitous ketchup for a combination of briny Clamato and piquant chili sauce and BAM! I finally achieved the flavour from my Mexican memories!
The shrimp are sweet and savoury with tomato, and herbs, the ceviche is bright with lime and jalapeno, the and the guacamole is a creamy, vegan, addictive dip. These quick and easy dips and appetizers were a hit and made even better because they can be made early in the day and kept in the fridge until your company arrives. I love make ahead dishes for entertaining because then I am free to visit and enjoy my time when they arrive. So here is my easy Mexi-style West Coast Shrimp Cocktail, serve with lots of tortilla chips or saltine crackers and if you want some healthier dippers, you can use cucumber cups or endive spears which are firm, fresh and crispy.
Shrimp are in season now and have a longer season than many other types of seafood. BC shrimp are on the Oceanwise recommended list of seafood for being harvested sustainably and ethically here in BC. I purchased my fresh, hand peeled shrimp at Thrifty Foods which eliminates the work of peeling them.
Cheers to the start of the holiday season and the delicious BC seafood we are so lucky to have at our doorstep.
Coctel De Camarones - Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
Made with wild, sustainable west coast BC shrimp, this tangy shrimp cocktail is based on what I remember eating in Mexico; fresh, crunchy, sweet, savoury and a little spicy. Serve with traditional saltine crackers, tortilla chips, endive spears or in cucumber cups.
This makes approximately 3.5 cups and will serve 6-8 people depending on the amount of other food served.
- 1/4 c Red Onion, Finely Chopped
- 1/4 c Tomato, Finely Chopped
- 1 Jalapeno, Finely Chopped Feel free to use less depending on spice level preference
- 1/4 c Cucumber, Finely Chopped
- 1/4 c Green Onions, Finely Sliced
- 1/2 Lime, Juiced
- 1/3 c Chili Sauce I used Heinz brand
- 1 c Clamato Juice I used Motts
- 1/2 c Cilantro, Roughly Chopped
- 1 c Wild BC Shrimp (Approx 325 grams) Cooked and peeled. I used Pink shrimp
- Salt And Pepper To Taste
- Hot Sauce To Taste I used Valentina but tobasco would work well too.
In a medium bowl, combine red and green onion, tomato, jalapeno, cucumber and lime juice. Stir gently until combined.
Add chili sauce and Clamato and stir until combined.
Add shrimp and cilantro, then stir and season to taste with hot sauce, salt and pepper.
Let chill in fridge 30 min (or up to 8 hours) then spoon into serving dish or mini cucumber cups to serve.
*Note: This Mexican style cocktail has a lot of liquid, necessary for proper flavour so don't drain the "soup".
If serving in cucumber cups, use slightly more salt and spice as the strength of flavour will be diluted by the cucumber.