In L.A. your car is your own private world. Never mind that anyone can peer right into that private world anytime they roll up next to you at at stoplight, we Angelenos become oblivious to the outside world so we do all sorts of forms of living in our cars from false eyelash application and hair trimming to head banging and even contortionist-like wardrobe changes. My truest form gets reveals itself in my secret love of belting out cheesy Latin love songs. In this safe place that is my car I have a sort of make believe parallel existence where I can effortlessly dance cumbia, Spanish rolls off my tongue, and that I have extraordinary ceviche talents.
But, honestly, in the summer months, I want something easier than ceviche because I don't want to fuss with raw fish. I'd call this a shrimp cocktail but I'd bet that makes a good deal of you conjure up cooked shrimp wreaths that are nestled around overly sweet cocktail sauce. Well, this is not that. This is crisp, cool, satisfying shirmp with a little spice and a really good deal of flavor. So, even if I don't really speak Spanish, I'm not Latina, and you'd never want to hear me belt an Enrique Iglesias song, I can make a phenom shrimp cocktail. And I think you should too.
pitted and finely chopped
trimmed and finely chopped
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. When it boils add the shrimp and remove from heat. Leave shrimp in water until they're pink and firm and just cooked, about 2 minutes. Immediately drain then turn the shrimp onto a rimmed baking sheet to cool off for at least 10 minutes.
When the shrimp have cooled, cut them into 1/2-inch pieces and toss with the juices. Cover and refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.
When shrimp has marinated, add remaining ingredients and gently stir to combine. Taste and season with salt, as desired. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately.
The shrimp cocktail can be made up to 4 hours ahead, without the avocado and cilantro, and refrigerated until ready to use. Add the avocado and cilantro just before serving.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp