The food of the awesome island of Cozumel—at least the snacks—is as refreshing as the island. Beautiful, light, care-free, and full of Island sabor. We all know how to make salsas, we all know how to make heavier dishes, but here are two snacks we’ve had in Cozumel that they (the cooks there!) have been good enough to share with me.
Cozumel Shrimp Cocktail
This recipe is so insanely easy it’s hard to believe how wonderful it is. It’s also hard to believe what’s in it—my beach-loving Mom and Dad and their equally Gulf-addicted family would turn their nose up at this as quick as if I’d served them Crab with a “K.” But it is absolutely delicious, easy to make as an Island day is long, and the use of a seldom-used part of celery just points out how inherently frugal these people are! I’ve tried to Americanize these to keep them isla fácil yet very easy.
2 5-lb. bags of extra small (“salad size”) frozen cooked, peeled. tail- and shell-off shrimp
1/2 lb. de-seeded and chopped tomato (heirloom are best—no need to peel)
Tops of 1 bunch of celery, chopped, including leaves (see note!)
1 c. ketchup
1 T. tomato paste
1 c. spicy Bloody Mary mix (I like Mr. T and Tina)
1 c. shrimp juice *or* clam juice
1 sm. Red onion, finely diced
2 t. Garlic puree (the kind in the plastic tube)
1/2c. bottled Key Lime juice
2 T. hot sauce, like Cholula, Tapatio, or Valentina (if available). (Cajun style is NOT the same!)
½ bunch finely chopped cilantro
Salt, chile, and lime powder to taste
Mix everything together. Chill for 2 to 4 hours. Serve with avocado and tortilla chips with beer, wine, or…see note #2 below!!
Note #1—for the celery use all the top from the stalks up—including leaves AND the little connector things between the stalks and the leaves.
Note #2—wanna get un poco loco? Serve this in a nice Margarita or cocktail glass and add a shot of good tequila to each glass. Let the fiesta begin!
I saw Javier, the bartender at El Cozumeleño make this super simple and easy snack last year and, between my poor Spanish and his attemped English, I got it down. Raw Jicama is unusual, like a cross between an apple, a water chestnut, and a potato. This is refreshing and GREAT for you—serve it on a hot day or better yet poolside!
2 medium-sized Jicama. Peeled and sliced into French-fry sized sticks
½ cup Key Lime juice
1 t. Chile-lime salt
Dash of Mexican hot sauce (like Cholula) to taste
Mix. Serve with chips and either an ice-cold beer or a Margarita!