My parents recently built a home on the Texas coast and we have gladly been making the weekend trek for both the views and the fabulous seafood! I've found a great little shrimp house, Flowers Fish Market, in Rockport, TX. Each time I get to town, my first stop is at Flowers. They have the freshest gulf shrimp in all sizes, plus some pretty amazing eggrolls to boot! A few weekends back I took a stab at this ceviche inspired appetizer- it was a hit with the whole crew! While I love ceviche, I decided to cheat and cook the shrimp quickly in boiling water instead of lime juice to accelerate the process and prevent any under or over cooking. This is a "salsa", not a ceviche- but it hits all the same notes! It starts by boiling peeled and deveined shrimp in a big pot of salted water. I throw some lime and bay leaf in for seasoning. The shrimp will cook in 2-3 minutes tops, so don't walk away! Once they're done, I transfer to an ice bath with a slotted spoon to stop the cooking, then the shrimp are drained, patted dry and chopped up. What's prepped next is essentially a pico de gallo with some avocado added in. Everything is tossed together in a very simple lime vinaigrette, and then promptly devoured with the help of some crunchy tostadas. We enjoyed this snack paired with a few perfect margaritas, the ocean breeze in our hair and views of the bay off our back patio. Heaven is shrimp salsa on the Texas coast!
prep time: 10 min. cook time: 5 min. serves: makes about 3 cups
1 lb peeled and deveined large shrimp, tails off
1 lime, halved
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup small diced red onion
1 roma tomato, seeded and diced
1 Serrano pepper or jalapeño, minced (remove seeds for less heat)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 large ripe avocado, diced
2 tbsp lime juice (1 juicy lime)
4 tbsp evoo
1 tsp kosher salt
Ground black pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with 3 tsp kosher salt. Squeeze the lime into the water and throw both halves in, add the bay leaf and then the shrimp. Boil until just cooked- about 2 min, 3 min if they are really large. Transfer the shrimp with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to chill, then drain and pat dry. Chop the shrimp into bite sized pieces and add to a bowl. To the same bowl add the onion, tomato, cilantro, serrano/jalapeño and avocado and season with a pinch of salt. In another small bowl whisk together the lime juice, 1 tsp salt, some black pepper and then olive oil. Pour the vinaigrette over the shrimp mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl and dunk with sturdy tostadas.