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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mexican-Style Shrimp Cocktail (Cóctel de Camarón) w/ Green & Red Chile Crackers

Some things simply SCREAM summer.  Sitting down and sipping a particularly tropical, fruity beverage.  Sweet juicy pineapple or mango dribbling down your chin and arms.  Lips and often chests of children in colorful swimsuits stained by popsicles to match.  And those round red or yellow-red orbs hanging from trees...the ones that beckon you to make a wobbly human ladder in order to pluck one here and there from a branch.  Aaahhh, cherries.  And then there are dishes that exude sand and saltwater and lazy days on the beach such as ceviche and cóctel de camarón.

Now, it doesn't take much imagination to pretend that it's summer around here right now.  Though it's technically still Spring, this has been such a strange year weather-wise that to conjure up the feel of the tropics, I need simply to step out my side door.  Or the front one, for that matter.  
But I don't live on a beach.  Or anywhere near an ocean.  So I have to turn on the sprinkler and fill a bucket with cold water to stick my feet in every once in a while.  But if I have one of these summoners of summer in hand and I close my eyes before taking a bite...or a sip...I can imagine that I do.

Mexican-Style Shrimp Cocktail (Cóctel de Camarón)

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Keywords: appetizer entree shrimp Mexican

Ingredients (~4 c.)
    for shrimp:
    • 1½ lb. shrimp (small to medium)
    • freshly squeezed juice of a lime
    • salt
    • ~1 Tbs. dried, minced onion
    for shrimp cocktail:
    • ¾ c. ketchup
    • ¼ c. Mexican hot sauce
    • ½ c. loosely packed chopped cilantro
    • 2-3 Tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
    • 1 small white onion, ¼" dice
    • ¾ c. shellfish stock, clam juice, or water
    • salt
    to serve:
    • 1 ripe avocado, diced
    • crackers, such as saltines, artisanal crackers, green or red chile crackers
    • and/or
    • tortilla chips
    • lime wedges
    cook the shrimp:
    Fill a large pot (w/ lid) ¾ full of water and salt it generously. Add lime juice and dehydrated onion; bring to a boil. Add shrimp and put on the lid. Time for exactly one minute, then turn off heat and drain the water (into a bowl if you want to save and use the flavorful liquid). Put lid back on pot and let shrimp sit for 5 minutes to steam. Run cold water over the shrimp to stop the cooking. Peel the shrimp and pull off the tails.

    make the shrimp cocktail:
    Combine the shrimp with the ketchup, hot sauce, cilantro, lime juice, and onion in a large bowl. Stir in the liquid of your choice. Taste and season with salt, if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    Just before serving, fold the diced avocado into the cocktail and divide amongst serving glasses/dishes.

    Serve with crackers (such as green and/or red chile crackers) and/or tortilla chips, and lime wedges for squeezing.

    inspired by/adapted from Fiesta at Rick's
    Powered by Recipage
    Green Chile Crackers (or Red Chile Crackers)

    by Heather Schmitt-González
    Prep Time: 5-10 minutes + rest time (up to overnight)
    Cook Time: 8-17 minutes
    Keywords: bake appetizer snack side vegan chiles Mexican American

    Ingredients (60-120 - varies depending on size)
    • 1 jalapeño, stemmed
    • ½ bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
    • ⅓ c. olive oil
    • ⅓ c. + 1 Tbs. water
    • 1 Tbs. sugar
    • 2 tsp. salt
    • 2 c. all-purpose flour
    • coarse salt, for sprinkling
    Combine chile, cilantro, oil, water, sugar, and salt in the jar of a food processor. Process to a smooth puree. Add flour and pulse to combine until everything comes together into a smooth-looking ball.

    Turn dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but up to overnight.
    Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

    Lightly flour your work surface. Cut dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll out each piece as thin as you can get it (the thinner the better). Cut into any shape that you like. Smaller shapes, like 1½" circles will yield the most crackers. Larger rectangles will give you the lesser amount.

    Transfer cut dough to a prepared sheet tray. You don't need to leave much space between, they don't spread. Lightly brush each one with water and sprinkle with a bit of coarse salt.

    Bake until lightly browned and crisp, ~8-10 minutes for smaller crackers and ~17 for larger crackers. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

    To make Red Chile Crackers:
    Substitute 2 Tbs. smoked paprika and ½ tsp. chipotle chile powder for the green chile and cilantro. Pulse the paprika and chipotle directly into the food processor with the sugar, salt, and flour. Add ½ c. + 1 Tbs. water and the oil and process until you get a smooth ball. Proceed as above.

    slightly adapted from Fiesta at Rick's
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    I am sharing this post with:
    IHCC theme: May Potluck
    Rick Bayless @IHCC button rounded BYOB Badge Miz- Helen-Badge-ALT5 ttt 10p6820 foodfriday friday food at mom trends foodiebutton2 Foodiefridaymark-1

    Would you like to comment?

    1. What a great recipe - freshing and delicious with lots of great flavor!
      Mary x

    2. So cool! I love the crackers, I'll definitely have to make those. And great styling on actually putting it in a cocktail glass :)

    3. What a great post, those chile crackers are such a bonus, had no idea they were homemade.

    4. These CRACKERS!!! I WANT THEM! Sorry I just had to SHOUT in case you didn't hear it ;-)

    5. I love these crackers, Heather. The colors are so vibrant and I can't believe they weren't fried. That's amazing and so beautiful...

    6. I haven't made mexican style shrimp cocktail in way too long. I use Clamato in mine and add cucumber, cilantro, green onion, and hot sauce. I used to put abalone in, but I haven't seen any in cans in years. I love the crackers... going to make some!

    7. Hi Heather,
      When I saw the photo, I knew that I had to have it, I can almost taste that awesome Shrimp. Those little crackers will have a new home, I am sure they will be one of my fav's before long. This post does scream summer, oh yes!

    8. I've never really understood why shrimp cocktail is called shrimp cocktail..but now I do! Love the presentation! I'd love to slurping on this!

    9. Love this post so much I'm featuring it in this week's Food Fetish Friday series (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections… Thanks so much again for sharing.

    10. I love the idea of having chili crackers with it.

      Sell WoW Accounts

    11. Yes I am closing my eyes as we speak and not just from the thunderstorm we are having.

    12. Okay, you definitely have my attention with this one. First of all, you know I'm sold on the shrimp BUT those crackers. Those crackers are awesome! If I was more confident in my cracker-making ability I would go for it. This is some serious snacking.

    13. That looks so delicious. If I close my eyes and think hard enough I can actually taste it.

    14. I love shrimp cocktail. This recipe looks great, full of flavor. You out did yourself.

    15. I just made my first shrimp cocktail like this ... wish I would have had some of those crackers to serve with it. :)

    16. These look good! Something that is definitely new to me. Serving the shrimp with crackers sounds so delicious! A wonderful Potluck choice!

    17. That is screaming summer - can I come over? If we lived closer, I swear I would be at your house ALL the time!

    18. Love this twist on shrimp cocktail--maybe even more than the traditional. Not too shabby on the crackers either! ;-) great color!

    19. I can hear that screaming summer all the way down here and it's not even summer here. :)

    20. I LOVED the coctel de camaron I had in Mexico City - you are right, so refreshing and great. And so thank you for this recipe!! The crackers are a fabulous touch.

    21. Katherines CornerMay 28, 2012 at 3:37 PM

      You had me at shrimp..giggle. This looks amazing.
      Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop Big Hugs xo

    22. I want some of this right now, it looks so good!

    23. Wonderful! So fresh and delicious! And I love that you made your own crackers - you are the best!

    24. This screams and kicks summer... got some tequila for this too?

    25. That shrimp looks amazing and I am loving the colorful little crackers too. ;-)

    26. Not that those awesome crackers would need extra taste, but instead of sprinkling salt on them, I think it would be neat to glaze them with honey. :)

      Malice in Dunderland