A little bit of a reinvention of the classic Prawn Cocktail. This is light and a little spicy, well as spicy as you like really. As a fresh flavoured starter a great way to whet the appetite. . In Mexico it would traditionally be served with saltine crackers, but feel free to serve with tortilla chips or I like to deep fry some round corn tortillas to make little edible baskets. These crispy little baskets can be whipped up in no time. They look and taste great. the baskets could also work for any little salad as an entree...maybe a little ceviche or some spicy chilli chicken.
Mexican Style Prawn Cocktail - Coctel de Camaron from Fiesta at Rick's
1 lb / 500g prawns, peeled and cooked
3/4 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup Mexican hot sauce (such as Valentina or Tamazula) If you are in Auckland head to Mexican Specialities, they have everything Mexican.
1/2 cup (loosely packed) coriander, chopped and thick bottom stems cut off
2-3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 small white onion, cut in to 1/4 inch pieces, I can never seem to find white onions, regular brown or red onions will also work here.
3/4 cup clam juice, shellfish stock or water
1 ripe avocado, pitted and flesh scooped from the skin and sliced crosswise
2 limes, cut in to wedges
In a large bowl combine the shrimp, ketchup, hot sauce, cilantro, lime juice and onion. Stir in the clam juice, stock or water. Taste and season with salt if you think it needs it. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
It can be served in small bowls topped with slices of avocado, accompanied by saltine crackers for authentic Mexican or with tortilla chips and lime wedges or as I did with a little baby cos lettuce in little tortilla baskets.
For the tortilla baskets heat some oil, a few inches in depth. To see if the oil is ready dip a corn tortilla in to the oil. If it starts to bubble it is good to go. Immerse the whole corn tortilla and with a pair of metal tongs (no plastic!!!) push the middle down to create a little basket shape. Fry for just a few seconds and drain on some kitchen paper. These will stay crispy so can be made ahead of time.
Place a few baby cos leaves in to each basket, top with the prawns and a few slices of avocado...as easy as that.
A great new take on the humble prawn cocktail, light and spicy sauce, creaminess of avocado and that great crunch from freshly made tortilla baskets.