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SHRIMP CEVICHE COCKTAIL (CEVICHE DE CAMARON)

Did you happen to catch the finale of "Top Chef Masters?" The one where famed chef Rick Bayless won? This recipe comes from one of the chef's cookbooks, called "Mexico — One Plate At A Time."

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 generous pound unpeeled smallish shrimp (41/50 count)

1/2 medium white onion, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus several springs for garnish

1/2 cup ketchup

1 to 2 tablespoons vinegary Mexican bottled hot sauce (Tamazula brand is a favorite)

About 2 tablespoons olive oil, preferably extra virgin

1/2 cup diced peeled cucumber

1/2 cup diced peeled jicama

1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed

Salt

Several lime slices for garnish

Lime tostado chips for serving

DIRECTIONS

Bring 1 quart salted water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons lime juice. Scoop in the shrimp, cover and let the water return to the boil. Immediatley remove from the heat, set the lid askew and pour off all the liquid. Replace the cover and let the shrimp steam off the heat for 10 minutes. Spread out the shrimp in a large glass or stainless steel bowl to cool completely. Peel and devein the shrimp. Toss the shrimp with the remaining 1/2 cup lime juice, cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

In a small strainer, rinse the onion under cold water, then shake off the excess liquid. Add to the shrimp bowl along with the cilantro, ketchup, hot sauce, olive oil, cucumber, jicama and avacado. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately.

Spoon the ceviche into a sundae glass, martini glasses or small bowls, garnish with springs of cilantro and slices of lime. Serve with lime tortilla chips.

Note: The cerviche is best made the day it is served. The flavorings can be added to the shrimp a few hours in advance.

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