Friday, February 20, 2015

Recipe: Coctel de Camaron

My mom grew up in Ensenada, Baja California so she is a huge seafood fan and even better cook. Every summer when the kitchen gets too hot to want to cook anything warm, my mom would whip up some delicious coctel de camaron: a savory shrimp cocktail – think virgin bloody mary meets pico de gallo but better. After my sister sent me a picture saying, "Look what we had for dinner," I couldn't resist but to make some of my own.

The other day I was feeling a bit homesick (missing my mom's cooking) and over the East Coast winter so I decided I would combat both of those with this delicious meal. The nice thing about coctel de camaron is that it works as a small appetizer or as a full meal, depending on the occasion. I usually like to eat it out of a cup, topped with avocado, lime, and Valentina salsa. To add some crunchy fun to the mix, you can eat with saltine crackers or tortilla chips.

Try out my recipe below and let me know what you think! Disclaimer: this is the lazy version because let's be honest: who was time to work with raw shrimp? Don't let my mom hear that...

Coctel de Camaron

  • 1 lb peeled and pre-cooked shrimp
  • 1 bottle of Clamato tomato cocktail (1 quart)
  • Valentina hot sauce (or your favorite)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber (peeled)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2-4 chopped jalapeños (I use pickled jalapeños, but fresh work as well)
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 limes
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

First start by prepping your shrimp: defrost and depending on the size, chop in half. I got my shrimp at Trader Joes which came bagged and frozen but if you have a grocery store with a meat department, I would recommend you go to the butcher and ask for that precooked shrimp instead since it will likely be fresher.

Next chop up the cilantro, onion, cucumber, tomatoes, and jalapeños into small pieces and mix in a large bowl. Squeeze one of the lime's juice into the bowl and mix some more. Your kitchen should start smelling pretty magical by now. Pour half of the Clamato into the bowl as well as the ketchup, shrimp, and olive oil. Slowly stir everything together while pouring in the remainder of the Clamato. Add salt and pepper to taste. YUM!

Like I mentioned earlier, I like to serve in a cup and usually wait to add the avocado (in squares) until served to avoid it browning. If you're going to serve right away, you can also mix the avocado chunks into the larger bowl.

Once served I add Valentina salsa, more lime juice to taste, and eat with some saltine crackers on the side. That's it! This is a super quick and simple dish which is pretty difficult to mess up and will surely become one of your summer favorites.

Do you think you'll try this at home? I'd love to hear and see how it turned out! Send some pictures my way via Twitter @mromja.


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