This is another light, summery, easy-to-prepare dish, courtesy of chefs Tom Hope and Manny Gonzalez at Taps Fish House & Brewery, Brea. The following quantities serve six as an appetizer.
And if you're really too lazy to try making it yourself, go to the restaurant for the real deal, where it's on the menu as a starter (for both lunch and dinner).
For the cocktail:
¾ pound shrimp (preferably rock shrimp), raw, deveined, tails removed
¾ pound fresh bay scallops
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
½ jalapeño pepper, seeded, deveined, finely diced
1 cup diced tomatoes (skinned and seeded)
1 medium diced cucumber (peeled and seeded)
½ medium red onion, finely diced
1 large Hass avocado, diced
Dash chipotle Tabasco or favorite hot sauce
Pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper
½ cup ketchup
For the garnish:
Sprigs fresh cilantro
Fresh tortilla chips
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Blanche the scallops and shrimp for 60 seconds in boiling water. Drain, cool, then dice them into ¼-inch pieces. Add to a large mixing bowl, cover and marinate in the lemon and orange juice overnight or for a minimum of four hours, stirring occasionally. The seafood will now be "cooked" through by acid of the lemon juice. Drain, but leave some of lemon juice to keep the seafood moist and to serve as a base for a binding sauce. Add the jalapeño, tomato, cucumber, onion and avocado, then a dash of hot sauce, and pinch of salt and pepper. Add the ketchup, and gently mix, just slightly mashing the avocado. Taste for seasoning. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.
To serve, mound the mixture in a martini or red wine glass. Garnish with the cilantro and serve with the warm chips.
Voilà! A chic, effortless appetizer that's bound to impress your guests.