Friday, August 13, 2010

Caribbean Shrimp Cocktail

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

  1. In a medium bowl, combine mango, pineapple, tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, lime zest, 1 tablespoon lime juice, salt, and pepper; cover, and refrigerate.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine shrimp and jerk seasoning; toss gently to coat.
  3. 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!

28 Thoughtful Comments:

Blondie's Journal said...

PERFECT lunch!! And another birthday celebration to boot. I think that should be mandatory! Thanks so much for the recipes...I need to start eating lighter and what could be more pretty to serve when you have company? Now, to book a plane and a boat! ;-D


solamar7 said...

My Word!! I think I died and went to heaven with this post..I cant wait to go and get the things I need to make this Shrimp Cocktail! The photos are amazing.. thanks for sharing all the details!!

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Good Morning Shell Sweetie...
Oh my gosh. I will be by for dinner tonight. Girl, not only do you treat your guests RIGHT, but what a beautiful table you share. I love this post today.

Thank you for the recipe for the fish tacos, guess what hubby and I are having for dinner tonight? We had already planned tacos, so I am just changing the menu a bit.

I recently won a CSN card and still have not spent it. I think I will be checking out these glasses, as they are so superb for using of appetizers. I love the look.

The cakes look wonderful. I love that blackberry cake too. We will have to start searching for the Southern Lady magazine. Maybe we can get the recipe yet. I have to tell you though this caribbean shrimp cocktail looks devine.

Thank you so much for sharing with me today, and for the fish taco recipe. Yeahhh. I am so tickled.

Hope you have a beautiful day sweet friend. Many hugs and much love, Sherry

Kaybe said...

Dang Girl ~ no beans & greens for you. That shrimp with the salsa makes me feel like I'm sitting on the back patio @ Sharky's on Venice Beach.

Drawn to The Sea said...

You've just added a few ingredients to my market list... no way is that shrimp recipe passing me by. Wish I had it in front of me right now.

Y. U. M. !!

Simple Daisy said... i'm hungry and I want a beer:)
What a fabulous post!! I'll have to give that beer a know I already love the summer shandy:):)
Hope you have a super wonderful weekend!!

Ms. Bake-it said...

Hello Rhonda,

It is all so visually appealing - the food and setting. Although I do not eat shrimp, I saved the recipe so I can serve it when I have company. Now the blackberry cake is something I would love. I will look for the recipe but if you get it, please share!

Have a fabulous weekend!

~ Tracy

BTW - I will be in Tallahassee over the Labor Day weekend.

Inspired2cook said...

Your shrimp cocktail looks amazing!

NanE said...

Oh YUM and YUM again! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I can't wait to try it myself. And Chocolate wine? Holy cow, I have got to look for this! Have a wonderful weekend! Nan

Low Tide High Style said...

Wow, what a perfect meal, or two meals! And I'm not a beer drinker either, but I may have to try the one you recommended!

What a wonderful way to spend the evening celebrating your cousin's birthday!

Kat :)

Everything Coastal said...

OH MY! Now I am starving! Made a copy of your recipe, and will definitely be serving sometime soon.

PS Loved it so much that I am posting it on my fb Caron's Beach House page!

Lindsay-ann said...

Hi Rhonda
I am not really into seafood. I wish I was because it does look very appetizing and beautifully presented. Thanks for the mango chopping tip. Glad your birthday celebrations went to well.
Have a great weekend.

The Fajdich Times said...

If only I lived closer!! That shrimp looks fabulous. I liked it the first time around and then even more the second time! Love your CSN review. Very good idea to use the martini glasses for the shrimp.....cute. How fun your birthday just won't stop!! I say.....keep celebrating:) Can't wait to try your shrimp recipe:)

Flotsam Friends said...

Oh wow, what an AMAZING post. It's 8:30 in the morning and I'm already thinking of dinner... This is all so foreign to me so I love it even more. Pruxxx

Kat said...

When do those shrimpers come in? I just checked, I can be there in 18 hours and 20 minutes LOL. The shrimp cocktail looks amazing, I will definitely try that. I laughed when I saw the chocolate wine, Cait was just telling me about it. The blackberry cake looks incredible, if you do find the recipe be sure and share :) Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Kat

Jane said...

Yummy post! I cannot wait to try that shrimp is one of my favorite fruits. Your photos and presentations are gorgeous!!!
Have a super weekend...
Jane (artfully graced)

Venus on the half shell said...

I am actually drooling! Your dinner looks fabulous and I can't wait to try making it! Thanks for the recipe!

rjerdee said...

I caught Kaybe's comment about Sharky's here...oh, my--she lives in the town right next to me (when I'm in Florida)...I'm so ready for a visit to Sharky's on the Pier!

CHERI said...

I have the magazine and have just now emailed you the recipe. It is definitely more complicated than I would want to tackle with my limited cooking skills but sure looks delicious. Now, honey, I sure wish I could just crawl through this computer screen and grab me a bite or two of that shrimp. It looks absolutely mouth-watering good! Next time you fix it just holler and I just might drive down for a bite!

BECKY said...

WOW!! What an eye appealing dish you made! My hubby would LOVE it!
And it's cool that you got two meals out of it! Thanks for sharing! May have to make that salsa! We've made mango before, but not pineapple mango!
Have a blessed Sunday!

Loui♥ said...

first..your shrimp cocktail has my mouth watering! I'm sure it was as delicious as the photo was gorgeous!!
I've saved the recipe for later this week..
thanks also for sharing my southern Sunday memories..those were the days before MC..but were equally priceless!!
have a beautiful Sunday!
warm sandy hugs..

jmac said...

I got one word for ya, girlfriend.....YUM!!

Oh.........and I want, er...NEED that chocolate cake!!

Sue said...

Why I waited to read this at 11:00 pm on a night when we decided to skip dinner and just have a little snack, is beyond me. You are killing me would know that I love shrimp, and mango salsa (which I have never made at home because I didn't like cutting up mangoes). Even the cold beer looks good right now, but my husband would really wonder if I came to bed with a beer...wouldn't he?

I'll just pout and go to bed hungry. Thanks so much!

Magdalena said...

I think I could eat this everyday of my life, it looks incredible. I love shrimp especially like this and this recipe is one of the best I have seen, I love how you have it with the mango salsa. I am going to make this for dinner this week and definitely serve it with beer. I am glad you had such a wonderful week.
The desserts look delish too and the wine is very interesting.

The Florida Blogger said...

Very nice beer choice. And the shrimp look fantastic!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Why Rhonda if I lived with you I would weigh 300 lbs! hehe.
This all looks fabulous! I am hungry for it all! I wish I could be satisfied just looking at the computer screen. lol.
Your a great cook!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, Rhonda, you socked it out of the ballpark here! Love this!


Sheila :-)

Kristen said...

I simply MUST come visit you... you and your AMAZING food posts!! I am starving now!!

And if you find that recipe for the blackberry cake... let me know. It looks like a bit of Heaven on a plate!

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