I have to thank two fabulous bloggers for making this post possible. Linda @ Coastal Charm and Heather @ Simpledaisy.
Last weekend my cousin Jackie was coming to my house so that we could celebrate our birthdays yet again. This time it would be just the two of us and the original plan was that we would get one of the decadent chocolate cakes from Publix and eat ourselves sick. Since I've been eating like crazy during what seemed liked The Birthday That Would Not End celebrations and since she is going to Hawaii in October, we both decided we didn't want to add any more pounds on than were necessary. We decided on a light lunch of shrimp cocktails and just a slice of cake for each of us.
Well, to make a long story short (kind of), a few weeks ago Linda announced on her blog that she had won a subscription to Southern Lady Magazine and posted this photo of a fresh blackberry cake…
(Please, if anyone has this magazine, could you send me the recipe? Thanks)
Doesn't it look yummy? I went to the magazine's website to see if the recipe was posted. The cake recipe wasn't there, but they did have one for a shrimp cocktail that set my heart to spinning — Caribbean Shrimp Cocktail! The shrimp are sautéed in butter with jerk seasoning and served with a pineapple-mango salsa. WOW, what's not to love?
The colors are so bright, cheery and summery, don't you think? And they match my new Pfaltzgraff dishes perfectly. I knew this is what we would be having and let me tell you, I will never make shrimp cocktail the old way again. They were heavenly! Just the right touch of spice and the jerk seasoning with the salsa was a match made in taste bud heaven. The only thing I added was some Vidalia onion.
Caribbean Shrimp Cocktail
Makes 8 servings (about 1/2 cup each)
- 2 cups finely chopped mango (about 2 medium)
- 2 cups finely chopped fresh pineapple
- 1/2 cup finely chopped Vidalia onion (I added this ingredient)
- 1 1/2 cups seeded and chopped Roma tomatoes (about 6 medium)
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 24 large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails on)
- 2 tablespoons Caribbean jerk seasoning
- 1/4 cup butter
- In a medium bowl, combine mango, pineapple, tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, lime zest, 1 tablespoon lime juice, salt, and pepper; cover, and refrigerate.
- In a medium bowl, combine shrimp and jerk seasoning; toss gently to coat.
- In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat until butter is melted. Add shrimp and remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice; cook shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until shrimp are firm and pink. Do not overcook!
I know that there are those who hate cutting up a mango, so let me show you how I do it. First, when your buying a mango, find one that is ripe, without being overly ripe, think about how an avocado feels — soft, but not mushy.
Slice your mango lengthwise. Again, think about an avocado and you'll get the picture. Remove the seed.
Cut through the pulp without puncturing the skin in a crosshatch pattern, small for diced and larger for cubed. For this recipe we want a small dice.
Now put your thumbs on opposite sides and from underneath, gently push up with your fingers. This is what you'll end up with…
To dice, slice through twice, the first time to catch the upper half and the next time close to the skin. Perfect and so easy when you get the hang of it.
Since I didn't have everything on hand to make my own jerk seasoning, this is the spice I used…
It was delicious and a real time-saver, no pulling out the mortar and pestle to grind spices. I used it on fish a few days later to make a quick wrap and again last night on baked chicken breasts. Mmmm…yummy.
By special request for Sherry @ Country Wings in Phoenix: To make fish tacos, just grill or sauté a firm-fleshed fish such as Mahi Mahi with this spice or something else with a real kick and then cut into cubes. Put the chunks in a soft taco shell with a nice chunky salsa, some lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded white cheese (optional) and avocado slices. Like any kind of taco, you can change up these ingredients to suit your taste. They are delicious and perfect for a hot summer meal! We've been eating them in California for years and years and I'm happy to see them cropping up on menus in Florida.
Okay, back to my little luncheon. I set a simple table…
and served these shrimp cocktails with Leinenkugel's beer.
Heather had mentioned this brewery earlier this summer when she gave a shout out for their Summer Shandy, a beer brewed with honey with a natural lemonade flavor.
I went for their Honey Weiss and let me tell you, this beer also has summer written all over it. Light golden yellow in color with a faint hint of honey in the aroma. I am not a beer drinker, that is until now. I love this beer! Very drinkable, a real girly beer and it went perfectly with our shrimp cocktails. Plus I love that the brewery name starts with L E I, as in those beautiful garlands of flowers that originated in Hawaii.
Before I tell you about our dessert I have to show you something! The next day I still had a little shrimp and salsa leftover, so I invited a friend over for beer and made the shrimp cocktails in an appetizer size. I served them in my new Artland Rockwell Stemless Martini Glasses.
I fell in love with these glasses the moment I saw them at CSN Stores and was thrilled when they sent them to me to review!
They are perfect to keep your martini chilled on a hot summer evening, but I had another idea when they arrived — why not use them for appetizers? Since I had company coming and wanted to show off these unique glasses, I filled them with Caribbean Shrimp Cocktail and my guest was so impressed.
Being able to prepare these ahead of time and storing them in the fridge for about an hour or so gave me plenty of time to get ready for my guest. They came out perfect and really showed off my appetizer. The 4-ounce size was just the right size. These are made with mouth blown glass and are absolutely gorgeous! They come in sets of two and are available in two sizes — 4 oz. and 8 oz.
They would also be fabulous for a chilled dipping sauce, such as a pesto mayonnaise, topped with little skewers of lobster bites.
Okay, let's move on to dessert! My cousin picked up two slices of cake at the bakery in Fresh Market…
Can you see how rich and moist this cake was? They tasted like a cross between cake and fudge. We savored every bite!
As if that were not enough chocolate, she also spotted this wine at the market and brought if along…
Chocolate wine, who knew? Made in Holland, ChocoVine is a blend of red wine and chocolate. RICH! Jackie said it tasted like a chocolate martini and I said it tasted like an adult-version of a YooHoo. Surprisingly, we both loved it, but agreed it was very rich and very strong-tasting. Definitely don't serve this with a chocolate dessert, we went on chocolate overload. This would be delicious served with fresh strawberries, in fact, pour it in a martini glass garnished with a strawberry and you'll be in heaven.
That's it for today, I'm giving the Caribbean Shrimp Cocktail recipe 5 BIG stars, I will be serving it often. Let me know when you'll be by and I'll be sure to hit the docks here in Saint Marys when the shrimping boats come in. For now, I'm linking up with everyone over at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. Be sure to stop in, Michael and Bandwidth made a Strawberry Salsa with Grilled Salmon. Seems we both had fruit and seafood on our minds this week!