Coctel de Camrones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail)

Also known as “Ceviche” or “Coctel de Camarones”, it’s refreshing and authentic!  With chunks of shrimp, cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocados; serve this in a large Margarita glass, on a hot summer day, with your favorite tortilla chips or saltine crackers.

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1 1/2 lbs. cooked shrimp, peeled (good quality)
1 small SWEET Onion, finely diced (Purple onion may be used)
1 medium Tomato, diced
1 small Cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 – 2 jalapenos, finely diced
1 bunch Cilantro, cleaned and finely chopped
1 ripe Avocado, peeled and diced

Cocktail Sauce:
1 1/2 cup Clamato juice
1/4 – 1/2 cup Tomato ketchup, to taste
1/4 – 1/2 cup Horseradish, finely grated (to taste)
2 – 3 fresh Limes, juiced, more for taste
1/2 – 1 tsp. Salt, to taste


Combine all of the cocktail sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir well.  Taste and adjust seasonings according.  I love horseradish, so I like adding more.  I also like a more “tart” flavored cocktail, so I add more lime juice as well.  This is the basic recipe I like using, but tweak it, all to taste.  Set this aside.

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For best results, use only good quality shrimp when making this.  Begin by peeling the cooked shrimp and removing any shells left.  Cut the shrimp pieces into large chunks, this will assure that you’ll have a piece of shrimp in every bite, 😉  Place the shrimp into a large mixing bowl.

NOTE:  Save a few whole pieces for garnishing.

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Finely dice the jalapenos and tomatoes.

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Peel to cucumber and cut into half, lengthwise.  Using a spoon, scoop out the center pulp and discard.  Removing this will ensure that your cocktail won’t be as watered down, while it marinates.

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Combine all of these ingredients together with the shrimp in a large mixing bowl.

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Stir the cocktail sauce and pour it into the shrimp mixture.  Stir to combine well.  Make sure to also add the “whole” pieces of shrimp you reserved for garnishing, that way they are also marinated.

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Cover with a plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.  Marinate the cocktail for a few hours.  Serve it up in fancy glassware along with your favorite tortilla chips or saltine crackers.

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Pink Potato Salad

How do you get your kids to eat carrots, peas, and beets?  Make this Pink Potato salad, that’s how!  It’s one of those “don’t knock it until you try it” kind of recipes!  Latin inspired, it’s a great tasting potato salad, very different from the traditional relish and mustard laden version.  With the sweetness of the apples, to the earthy flavor of the beets, you’re gonna find this salad to be a welcome addition to your table!  Give it a try some time….. 😉

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5 – 6 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 – 5 Carrots, peeled and diced
6 – 8 hard boiled Eggs, peeled and diced large
2 – 3 Red delicious Apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup frozen baby Peas, blanched and drained
1 (15 oz. can) whole Beets, drained, rinsed thoroughly, and cubed
1 – 1 1/2 cups Hellman’s REAL mayonnaise
1/2 tps. Salt, to taste
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground Black pepper, to taste

1 small Onion, peeled and sliced thinly
1 cup White vinegar
1/4 cup Olive oil
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. ground Black pepper

Let’s begin by making the vinaigrette.  This can be done in advance or even overnight to allow the onions to permeate and flavor the vinegar, without having to add chunks of onions to the salad.

Combine the thinly sliced onions with the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine well. Wrap with plastic wrap and set aside.  Allow this to sit for about 1 hour or even longer.  I sometimes make this in the morning and it’s usually flavored by the time I’m ready to make this salad.

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When you’re ready to prepare the salad, allow a large pot of water to come to a boil.  Once it hits a full boil, add the peeled and diced potatoes.  Bring this back up to a boil and then set your timer for about 10 minutes.  Allow the potatoes to cook for this time.

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Once the 10 minutes is over, add in the peeled and diced carrots.  Allow the potatoes and carrots to cook for about 5 minutes.  Test to make sure the potatoes are tender.

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Remove from heat and drain in a colander.  Allow the potatoes and carrots to cool completely before proceeding.  While the potatoes and carrots are cooling off, peel the apples.  Core and dice them and place them into a bowl.  Drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the apples and toss to coat.  This will flavor them and also help them from turning brown.  Set this aside, but toss often.  When it’s time to add the apples to the salad, make sure to drain them in a colander first.

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Drain the canned beets and rinse several times.  Dice them and set this aside.

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Once the potatoes and carrots have completely cooled, you’re ready to assemble the salad.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, carrots, eggs, peas, drained apples, mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste.  Toss the ingredients well. Taste for flavor and add more salt and pepper if needed.

For a bit of tang, add more tablespoons of the vinaigrette, this is all to taste.  At this stage of the salad, you can wrap it until ready to serve.  Keep it in the refrigerator until then.

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OR go for the “pink” look and add some Latin flair!   Toss in the diced beets and stir to combine well.  This will give it that pink look.  When you’re satisfied with the flavor, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve!  ENJOY!

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