Whenever we are in Salinas, CA, my husband and I make it a point to have Mexican food in this quaint little town. I truly love the authentic taste of Mexican cuisine, and this little town has the best to offer. The best tacos we have eaten were from a little, shabby taco truck alongside a small flea market patronized by mostly Spanish-speaking people. Although we stuck out like sore thumbs being the only Asians, it didn't matter. We got a chance to taste authentic tacos made by an old Mexican grandmother. It was divine.
We also visited a restaurant right off Highway 101. The Los Altos Restaurant is a convenient corner restaurant that I suspect used to be Denny's. There was a mariachi band playing in full ensemble. It was a very fun atmosphere, serving great food. What stood out the most was their Mexican shrimp cocktail. The cocktail was loaded with whole shrimps and chunks of cucumber, celery, avocados, and onions in a perfect blend of citrus-tomato-clam juice. It was the most refreshing food I had in Salinas.
It had always been on my mind to replicate the Mexican shrimp cocktail at home. I finally made this dish as a untraditional appetizer for our recent Thanksgiving Holiday. It was a hit. However, I learned one thing. Don't go gang-buster with the shrimp. Use them moderately because, unfortunately, there is such a thing as too much shrimp.
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups Clamato juice
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 small red onion; diced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 firm-ripe avocado; peeled, pitted and diced
- 1/4 lb cooked shrimp; cut into chunks
- 1/4 lb cooked whole shrimp; butterflied, deveined, and peeled except for tail (optional for garnish)
- In a large bowl, mix together the Clamato juice, ketchup, lime juice, hot sauce and salt.
- Add the red onion, cilantro, avocado, lobster and shrimp.
- For garnish, add whole shrimp around edge of serving bowl.