Today I’m offering a double feature. We just talked about the House Special Margarita that I highly recommend you try!
Let’s switch over and talk about a little nibble you can have with your margarita. I’m calling these Shrimp and Pineapple Salsa Bites but you could also consider them individual shrimp nachos.
This isn’t your typical nacho though. Light and refreshing and served chilled. For my Cinco de Mayo Fiesta I served them as individual pieces or bites if you will. Composition is pretty simple and the ingredients are common and easy to find but the flavor combination is everything but ordinary.
An item, like this one, on your party buffet provides a bit of balance. It is lighter and fresh and has crisp and crunch. It also provides a little bit of sweetness. If we think about Mexican food items at a party we think, queso fundido, seven layer dip, guacamole, nachos, taquitos etc. All of those dishes can be heavy. The heavy needs to be balanced out by something light.
The shrimp bites start with a tortilla chip. Next is some shaved cabbage and then a spoonful of sweet and spicy pineapple salsa. A single chilled shrimp is balanced on top of the salsa and to finish it off a slice of avocado.
Best result for these bites is to prepare all the ingredients ahead of time but wait until the last possible moment for assembly. Figure on 2 – 3 of these per person. I used these on my buffet but could easily be served as an appetizer for a plated meal as well. My recommendation would be to do these for smaller parties as they are a bit more fussy than creating a pile of nachos; though the recipe could be easily adapted to accommodate.
I will also mention ~ the chip does matter. Find yourself a good quality tortilla (corn) chip. It needs to be able to handle a little bit of the liquid from the salsa without going soft and mushy. This is a finger food and a mushy chip will spell disaster! Not that I learned from experience or anything…..
- 12 flat tortilla corn chips
- shaved green cabbage
- 12Tbsp pineapple salsa
- 12 medium shrimp peeled, cleaned, poached and chilled
- 12 small slices of avocado
- fresh lime juice
- 1/2 fresh pineapple diced small
- 1/2cup red onion minced
- 1 red chili seeded minced small (approximately 1Tbsp)
- 1tsp garlic minced
- juice of one lime
- 1/4cup fresh cilantro (coriander) chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Lay the tortilla chips out on the serving tray.
- Top with a pinch (1Tbsp) cabbage creating a little nest for the pineapple salsa to sit on.
- Place 1Tbsp of salsa on top of cabbage trying not to get too much liquid or the chip will quickly get soggy.
- Nestle 1 shrimp on top of the salsa.
- Top shrimp with 1 slice of avocado and finish with a little squeeze of lime.
- Combine all ingredients and allow flavors to come together. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
~Using a mandolin to shave the cabbage with give you great results. Getting it thin enough with just a knife could be difficult.
~Leaving the shrimp tails on creates a nice presentation but makes them more difficult to eat. I recommend removing the tails.
~To poach and chill shrimp bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Drop shrimp in for a minute until they turn pink and opaque. Immediately transfer shrimp to a bowl filled with water and ice. Once cool, drain and store in a covered container in the fridge until ready to use.
~Once an avocado is sliced open it begins to oxidize and turn brown. A little squeeze of citrus on it can help slow the process.
~Making the pineapple salsa ahead of time will allow the flavors to come together. For best results prepare the night before.
Are hot summer nights on your horizon? Shrimp bites and house special margaritas are a perfect cool down treat!