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Mauricio and I met in Cancun, Mexico. It’s a good story and I plan to share it one day. For now though, I want to talk about something else I fell in love with while in Mexico. The Mexican shrimp cocktail, or “coctel de camarones.” A phrase I learned quite well while vacationing in Cancun. And also, “una corona light mas, por favor.” This refreshing and spicy goodness is a perfect beach or poolside dish, along with your favorite cerveza.
But truthfully, I make this recipe for Mexican shrimp cocktail a lot, and usually on days we aren’t making it to the beach or the pool. Mauricio serves up a Corona Light perfectly rimmed with sea salt for me ( because that’s exactly how it’s served along the coastal Mexican cities), and Modelo Especial for himself, and we share a bowl of this deliciousness often on a lazy afternoon weekend.
There are tons of variations and recipes for the Mexican shrimp cocktail. This one is a bit more work than just tossing already cooked shrimp with some tomato juice and hot sauce. This cocktail needs a little more TLC upfront, but it is well worth it. You can also make this dish ahead of time. I’m also confident you’ll disappoint no one if you prepare it for Cinco de Mayo.
1lbs. jumbo raw and unpeeled shrimp
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 small white or red onion, diced
1 medium cucumber, diced
1/4 cup of cilantro, finely chopped
1-2 jalapeños, finely chopped
2 celery stalks
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 wedge of a white onion.
2 cloves of garlic
1-2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 large limes, (plus 1 or 2 more for your beer and garnish)
1/4-1/2 cup of ketchup
hot sauce to taste
1. Peel and de-vein the shrimp, reserve the skins. Wash your shrimp and pat dry, then set aside.
2. Place the shrimp skins, along with celery stalks, onion wedge, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, as well as salt and pepper in a pan. Then add 3 cups of water and simmer for about 15- 20 minutes.
3. In the meantime, dice the tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, jalapeno peppers, avocado and cilantro.
4.With a slotted ladle, remove the skins and all the vegetables from the broth. Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the hot broth and simmer the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes or until they change color and curl up. Don’t forget that shrimp cook super fast, so pay attention or they’ll be rubbery and no bueno.
5.Pull out the shrimp after the short bath and place on ice to stop all residual cooking.
6.Wait until the broth has cooled down and pour about 1 ½ cups of broth into a bowl.
7.Then add the ketchup, hot sauce, juice of 2-3 limes and salt and pepper to taste.
8.Chop the cooled shrimp and then add the shrimp and the diced vegetables to the broth. Mix and then add more lime, hot sauce or salt and pepper as needed.
Serve with your favorite corn chips and a very cold Mexican beer. I love Corona light , with extra sea salt and lime. The spiciness and the tang of the Mexican shrimp cocktail really pairs well with the pilsner-style lager, that’s crisp and refreshing. Not to mention only 99 calories! While Modelo Especial has a light hop character and orange blossom honey aroma, and because it’s brewed with a fighting spirit, Mauricio really likes it!
For more #CervezaCelebration ideas for Cinco de Mayo don’t forget to check out Corona Light Facebook page and Modelo Especial Facebook page!