At first, Marty and I were perplexed when a young chef we were talking with in Cuba described a recipe containing an exotic-sounding ingredient called ka-chup. I felt a little silly when it turned out to be good old tomato ketchup. Ketchup is used in quite a few recipes in Cuba, and when combined with bitter orange juice, onion, olive oil, fresh tomatoes, cachucha chiles, and cilantro it makes an easy, refreshing, and distinctly Cuban cocktail sauce for shrimp. Serve this appetizer with casabe, yuca flat bread.
- 1 ripe but firm Florida or 2 Hass avocados, pitted, peeled, and diced
- ½ head iceberg lettuce, torn into small pieces
- 1 pound fresh medium-sized shrimp, cooked, peeled, and deveined
- ½ cup fresh bitter orange juice, or ¼ cup regular orange juice and 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- ½ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 to 3 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
- 1 to 3 fresh ajis cachucha, seeded and minced
- 3 to 4 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- Fresh cilantro sprigs, lemon and/or lime slices or zest, cachucha peppers, and/or watercress
Cut the avocados into bite-size chunks and set aside. Fill the bottom of chilled individual glasses or serving bowls with lettuce and arrange the shrimp and avocado on top.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the bitter orange juice, ketchup, and onion. Gradually whisk in the oil. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, chiles, and minced cilantro. Spoon the sauce over the shrimp and avocado. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve.
Nutritional information includes 1/2 teaspoon of added salt.