If you're not a big fan of avocados, this recipe will change your mind. The creaminess of the fresh, ripe avocado, combined with the crunch of Kirby cucumbers and the spicy bite of jalapeños, flavored with fresh and aromatic cilantro - your mouth will have a party! The cumin sautéed shrimp added to the dish, only makes it a firework experience.
Having lived in California for 22 years, where the sunshine state carries 90% of the U.S.A. crop, avocados are now being delivered during the months of April-September all over the U.S.A. When avocados ripen they need to be eaten - so guacamole is a big and delicious hit through this season, until I made my Shrimp and Avocado Cocktail Salad Recipe.
Avocados were the first solid food that my husband and I fed to our twins at 4 months old. They loved it, then hated it and grew to love it again when they were older. Now at 11, they can't get enough. So, I guess what goes around, comes around...as they say! Just give them a little taste and wait.
Read my chef tips below on the nutrition of avocados. There's also an alternative for turning this creamy, crunchy and healthy salad into a beautiful Shrimp and Avocado Cocktail Recipe, just for those special occasions.
This recipe makes two fully stuffed avocado shells or three medium stuffed shells. So, save another tail-on shrimp for garnishing if you are making three. An image for this recipe as an appetizer is pictured after the recipe.
2 whole large Haas Avocados
1 Kirby cucumber, peeled and diced finely
6 large shrimp, tail off (2 with tail on)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 fresh, small jalapeno, finely diced
1 tbsp., fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. lemon or lime juice
Red pepper flakes, optional
Extra cilantro for garnish, optional
1. Wash the avocados and make an incision with a small, sharp knife lengthways - holding and twisting the avocado, keeping the knife still. Take the avocado and twist it in opposite directions and then pull it apart. Remove the pit and set aside.
2. Toss the raw shrimp in the olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over a high heat for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and sauté, stirring constantly until the shrimp are pink and have a wonderful brown color from the cumin. Let them cool and then dice all but two of the shrimp (those with their tails on for garnishing) and set aside.
3. Scoop out the avocado shells and dice the avocado into a small bowl. Add the lemon/lime juice, jalapeños, diced shrimp, cucumbers, olive oil, salt and pepper to the bowl and gently combine. Marinate for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
4. Putting it together:- Divide the shrimp and avocado mixture between the shells evenly, piling it high if using two. Garnish with a little chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes if desired. Read further for a fancy little cocktail version.
This recipe can be adapted to be an elegant appetizer being served for an intimate dinner or small or large gatherings. You can make a Shrimp and Avocado Cocktail - and all I did was add a small amount of cold sour cream to the bottom of the glass sprinkled with a pinch of ground cumin.
Then, I added the avocado mix on top and garnished with a little chopped cilantro and decorated the glass with a tail on shrimp. I used a liqueur glass for this example, but if you want to go bigger, a martini glass would look outstanding and that could be your second course as a salad! Elegant and delicious for any party from two to two hundred!
Avocados are considered to be a nutritionally condensed food, which means, you don't need a lot of it to do you good! They are rich in flavor and are great for babies. They are a "good fat" food, sodium free, high in protein and B12. However, avocados are high in cholesterol, so intake should be controlled no matter how much you like them, especially if you are on a restricted cholesterol diet. Please consult your nutritionist or doctor if you are on such a diet!
Add avocados to anything you want to - burgers, wraps, salads and sandwiches. They are delicious!