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Not Your Mom's Shrimp Cocktail

Heres a tangy take on the classic shrimp cocktail theme, using lime juice, vinegar, avocado and watercress to bolster that trad ketchup/mayo sauce. You can prepare the individual ingredients at home, pack them in the cooler, and just assemble when youre ready to eat. Naturally, cocktail glasses are the best for presentation, but whatever glasses you have on board will do just fine.


1 pound cooked shrimp

Juice of 2 small limes

Half an English cucumber

A splash of white wine vinegar

A small bunch of watercress

Some fresh dill

A dash of cayenne pepper


And for the sauce:

2tbsp mayonnaise

5tbsp low fat cream cheese

1tbsp ketchup

A dash of hot sauce (Tabasco is ideal)

A dash of Worcestershire sauce

1tsp brandy



1. Peel, rinse and pat dry the shrimp. Place them in a Ziploc bag, add the juice of one of the limes and a pinch of pepper, give the bag a good shake, then stash in cooler.

2. Chop the cucumber up into quarter-inch sized dice and put them in a dish.

3. Grab some scissors and snip some dill over the cucumber. Cut your avocado into half-inch dice and gently combine with the cucumber. Squeeze the second lime over the mixture and add a little pepper.

4. Stir together the cream cheese, mayo, ketchup, Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce. Dont forget to add the brandy. Have a nip yourself while youre at it. You deserve it.


To serve:

Roughly chop the watercress. Plop a spoonful of the sauce into the bottom of each glass, and layer some watercress on top of the sauce. Drain the cucumber/avocado salad, then spoon it over the watercress. Pile some shrimp on top of that, then spoon the rest of the sauce over the top. Sprinkle some cayenne on each cocktail for that festive look.


On the side:

You know what, a simple glass of Prosecco goes really well with this appetizer, as does Vinho Verde or Pinot Grigio. Or a Frascati or a Sauvignon Blanc. Any of these will cut the creamy sauce. Theres nothing wrong with a good champagne, either!