Mock Ceviche Shrimp Appetizer

Mock Ceviche Shrimp Appetizer - This addictive retro shrimp appetizer features lightly cooked shrimp marinated in a delicious blend of onions, capers, vinegar, Tabasco and bay leaves. Perfect for those who love the idea of ceviche but just can’t get past the whole “not cooked” thing.

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Love the idea of ceviche but just can’t get past the whole “not cooked” thing?  Mock ceviche is one appetizer I know will never come home with anything left in the bowl. This addictive retro shrimp appetizer features lightly cooked shrimp marinated in a delicious blend of onions, capers, vinegar, Tabasco and bay leaves.

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Mock Ceviche Shrimp Appetizer - This addictive retro shrimp appetizer features lightly cooked shrimp marinated in a delicious blend of onions, capers, vinegar, Tabasco and bay leaves. Perfect for those who love the idea of ceviche but just can’t get past the whole “not cooked” thing.

 

When I was a little girl back in the 70’s, my parents and their friends used to frequently throw cocktail parties.  They’d meet monthly for dinners with catchy names like “Gourmet Group” that had set themes for the night.

The wives wore the most amazing mini dresses and those cool-then Candie’s sandals while their husbands sipped now defunct liquors like Lochan Ora.

I loved watching my mother dress up, dab Cie perfume under her chin and put on lipstick as she got ready for the parties.  (Who else is now channeling Candace Bergen, saying “Cie… is me”, then singing the Enjoli or Charlie perfume theme songs in your head?)  Goodness, how I’ve dated myself!

But the best part was when the party was at our house and I could sneak bites of the appetizers while helping put them out on the table.  My favorite was this mock ceviche pickled shrimp appetizer by a friend of my parents from England, named June. I was delightfully charmed by her accent and enthralled by her signature dish.

As a little girl, I loved the hunt and peck for the shrimp.  June always bought large shrimp and cut them into bite sized pieces that snuck under the thin slices of onions and the many bay leaves. My siblings and I would dutifully search for the shrimp, spearing them with those black plastic cocktail offers and offer them up like a prize to the adults.

Today, I found myself with a thawed bag of small 60-80 count shrimp and nothing to do with them.  So my first thought naturally went to Shrimp à la June, as I’d jokingly christened it in my head (because who knew the word mock when they were 7?)

Why do you call it mock ceviche, anyway?

Now, if you were making authentic ceviche you would never, ever, ever use frozen shrimp.  You would use nice fresh seafood from your trusted seafood market.   Ceviche is made by curing fresh raw fish or seafood like shrimp or scallops in citrus juice, usually lemon or lime juice.  The acid basically cooks the food, but without heat.  It’s often marinated in blend of flavors like lime, onions, chili peppers, and often served with avocado.

Since all I had was frozen shrimp this was a good time to make my mock ceviche, which is gently boiled before marinating for 24 hours.  You never want to start a recipe with partially thawed shrimp!

60-80 count shrimp are tiny, each one will only provide a little bite, I’m actually not sure why I bought such small ones.  You can use any size that you have on hand, including shell-on shrimp.  If they are too large, simply cut them into bite sized pieces.  Fresh shrimp is always the yummiest, natch, but frozen shrimp is super-convenient!

First, put some water on to boil.  Eyeball it, but you’ll need enough to have 1-2 inches over the shrimp once they are added.  As it’s boiling, grab a celery stalk and snap it into halves or thirds or quarters and toss it into the water.  Add your mixed pickling spice, celery seed and salt and stir to combine, but most of it will float to the top anyway.

Mock Ceviche Shrimp Appetizer - This addictive retro shrimp appetizer features lightly cooked shrimp marinated in a delicious blend of onions, capers, vinegar, Tabasco and bay leaves. Perfect for those who love the idea of ceviche but just can’t get past the whole “not cooked” thing.

Once the water reaches a boil, add the shrimp and immediately reduce the heat to a simmer.  Put the lid on loosely, leaving it slightly askew so you can keep an eye on the shrimp.  Allow them to simmer for 3-5 minutes.  You’ll know they’re done as the first couple start to rise to the surface of the water.

While the shrimp are boiling, prep your water bath (this is also called an ice bath.) Fill a bowl with cold water and add ice and some sea salt and stir to combine, until the water is ice cold and the salt is dissolved.  (When salt is added to water it lowers the freezing point).  (You can totally skip the ice bath step if you want, I’ve done it both ways).

Once you’ve deemed the shrimp done, remove them with a slotted spoon and place directly in your water bath.

Mock Ceviche Shrimp Appetizer - This addictive retro shrimp appetizer features lightly cooked shrimp marinated in a delicious blend of onions, capers, vinegar, Tabasco and bay leaves. Perfect for those who love the idea of ceviche but just can’t get past the whole “not cooked” thing.

Don’t worry about any of the spices from the pickling mix or celery seed still clinging to the shrimp, that part, for some reason, was part of my fascination with the dish as a little girl!  Leave them in the bath to cool down for approximately 6 minutes for small shrimp and up to 15 minutes for large, shell-on shrimp.

Once cooled, remove the shrimp from the water and either discard the water and reuse that bowl or place in another bowl that you can re-seal for the chilling process.

Add to the shrimp the sliced onions, bay leaves, oil (I generally use a simple canola or vegetable oil since olive oil congeals in the fridge), white vinegar, capers, celery seed and Tabasco, to your taste.  At least 4 drops though!

Chill your mixture for a minimum of 24 hours and stir when it occurs to you.

Mock Ceviche Shrimp Appetizer - This addictive retro shrimp appetizer features lightly cooked shrimp marinated in a delicious blend of onions, capers, vinegar, Tabasco and bay leaves. Perfect for those who love the idea of ceviche but just can’t get past the whole “not cooked” thing.

Place in a pretty bowl and serve alongside some cool 70’s spears, toothpicks or just a slotted spoon.  No need to serve with sides, the mock ceviche shrimp are delicious on their own.

Mock Ceviche Shrimp Appetizer - This addictive retro shrimp appetizer features lightly cooked shrimp marinated in a delicious blend of onions, capers, vinegar, Tabasco and bay leaves. Perfect for those who love the idea of ceviche but just can’t get past the whole “not cooked” thing.

The Super Bowl will be here next week.  Give this a shot and let me know what you think!   Comment below or share a snap and tag @ttottblog on Instagram.

Fondly, Kristen

 

 

 

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