Monday, April 7, 2014

Grilled shrimp and avocado salsa! Or salad? Salsa?

Sometimes I get a hankering.  This weekend, it was for shrimp. I could not get the idea of a shrimp dinner out of my mind.

Ever since I was little, I've loved shrimp (actually shellfish in general, but shrimp in particular).  When I was about 8, my grandma and I were shopping for ingredients to make a recipe from my very first cook book and I suggested we get a pound of shrimp to snack on while we cooked.  It was a genius plan and of course, we did!

I've been trying to figure out exactly what to do with the shrimp in my freezer.  I love a nice shrimp cocktail, or scampi, a shrimp fra diavolo, but the idea that really sparked was to do a play on a ceviche. Obviously, with frozen shrimp, I wouldn't attempt a raw ceviche, but I thought I could attain the same flavors and I ended up pretty happy with the results!

Let's pretend I remembered to put corn and cotija cheese in this photo.

Here's what you'll need:

Shrimp, peeled and deveined, with or without tails.  I had about 1/2 pound here.
An avocado
1 ear of corn or 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
A tomato (or a handful of cherry tomatoes, if you prefer less juice)
A lime
1/2 of an onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno, diced
1 tsp olive oil
Cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
Cilantro to taste (I used about 1/4 cup or so)
Cotija cheese (optional)

Start by dicing your veggies, the tomato, the jalapeno, the onion, the cilantro and the avocado.  I wanted big leaves of cilantro in mine, but you, you can do whatever floats your boat.


Then squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the whole shebang.  Now, the quantity of lime juice in each lime varies, so feel free to put in as much lime juice as you want.The season with salt, pepper and cayenne if you can stand the heat!

 When you chop your jalapeno, cut out the seeds and white pith from the inside to cut down on the spiciness.

Dice your jalapeno pretty finely, then make sure to wash your knife, cutting board and hands with soapy water.  Don't pull an Amanda and touch your face with your jalapeno hand. 

I like to cut my avocados in the skin and then scoop them out with a spoon.  I thought everyone knew this trick, until I saw a friend of mine trying to peel a ripe avocado. 

 Defrost your shrimp, then season with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne if you want a little kick. This would also be a great place to use some achiote paste, but alas, I did not have any. Next time!

You only need to grill the shrimp for about 60-90 seconds on each side.  Once they are firm and opaque, take them off the heat, they'll continue to cook a little once they're off. 

Look at them! Gorgeous!

This was the precise moment I decided to put corn in here too.  I just felt like it would add some bulk and a pop of color.  I threw my corn in the same grill pan the shrimp had just left and pan fried it for about 60 seconds, just enough to defrost the corn. 

I threw the corn in and stirred everything up while I waited for the the shrimp to cool. 

Then I mixed the shrimp in as well, I contemplated cutting them up into smaller pieces, and I definitely would have if I had intended to eat the salsa with chips, but this batch was just headed straight down the hatch!

I added a little crumble of cotija cheese right over the top and it was perfect!  A perfect lunch on a Sunday afternoon!