On the Ecuadoran coast, ceviche carts line the beaches selling ice-cold seafood cooked in lime juice and sprinkled with popcorn. In Quito, where fresh seafood is more rare, a lightly poached shrimp cocktail is the ceviche of choice.
What to buy: We found deveined frozen shrimp at our local market, and they worked great in this recipe. If you use fresh shrimp, they will take slightly less time to cook, so start checking them after a few minutes.
Look for avocados that are ripe but not mushy. If they are too soft, they will fall apart when you fold them into the shrimp mixture.
Game plan: A great way to serve the shrimp cocktail is in small cups or bowls with a cocktail fork stuck in for easy eating. This dish can be prepared up to 1 day in advance (without the avocado), covered, and kept in the refrigerator. When your guests arrive, simply peel and dice the avocado, sprinkle it over top, and serve.
This recipe was featured as part of our Spicy Holiday Cocktail Party menu.
Beverage pairing: Dominio del Plata “Crios de Susana Balbo,” Torrontes, Argentina. A South American white for this Ecuadoran dish—citrus, mint, and white flowers delivered in a light but punchy package.