This classic Mexican Seafood Cocktail traveled north from Campeche, a Mexican state on the Yucatan Peninsula. Ceviche may be trending, but this savory dish is hands down our favorite seafood appetizer. With lots of optional add-ins, you can personalize this dish to your taste.

Prep time:30 minutes
Cook time (inactive):60 minutes
Servings:4 – 6

Ingredients

  • Old Bay Seasoning for Seafood
  • Lemon
  • Bay Leaf
  • 2 (5.5 ounce) cans Clamato Juice (tomato+clam cocktail juice), chilled
  • 1/3 cup Ketchup, chilled
  • 1/4 cup bottled Chili Sauce, chilled
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed Lime juice
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped Sweet or Red Onion
  • 1 bunch fresh Cilantro, chopped (leaves only)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Oregano
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoons Lemon Pepper
  • 1 – 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Roma (Plum) Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 – 2 Chile Peppers of your choice, seeded and chopped: (Hot) Jalapeno or Serrano; (Mild) Poblano or Anaheim
  • 1 pound seafood, mix of your choice: medium Shrimp (cooked, peeled, split), Lump Crab Meat (picked, cleaned, steamed) or Calamari rings
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • Tortilla Chips
  • optional: 1 – 2 ripe Avocados, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • Green Olives, chopped
  • Hearts of Palm, chopped
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons Horseradish (for heat factor if using mild peppers)
  • Mexican-style Hot Pepper Sauce

Preparation

  1. To prepare shrimp (and calamari), make a court bouillon by combining 8 cups cold water, 1/2 lemon (sliced), 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning and a bay leaf in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover with lid slightly ajar and cook for 10 minutes. Add shrimp (and calamari, if using) to the pot and turn off the heat. Cook the shrimp, stirring occasionally, just until they curl and turn pink, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes for medium shrimp. Do not overcook seafood as it will become rubbery and tough. Drain, then cool seafood in a bowl with ice water. Peel and de-vein shrimp, cut in half lengthwise. Refrigerate seafood if not serving immediately.
  2. In a large non-reactive (glass or ceramic) bowl, combine all ingredients through tomatoes, stir to mix. Season to taste with salt and lemon pepper. Fold in seafood, then (if desired) gently fold in chopped avocados, olives and/or hearts of palm. Add horseradish, if you desire more heat.
  3. Cover and chill thoroughly (at least an hour).
  4. Serve with tortilla chips and Mexican-style hot sauce on the side. “Wow” your guests with individual servings in chilled margarita or martini glasses.

Suggested Wine Pairings

CHAMPAGNE & SPARKLING

Domestic
Look for Methode Champenoise or Traditional Method stated on the label. Another option is Pet-Nat (petillant naturel) wine, produced in the artisanale or rurale style.
Imported
France: Champagne, Cremant, Mousseux
Germany: Sekt
Italy: Asti, Prosecco, Prosseco Rosé
Spain: Cava

CRISP, DRY WHITE or ROSÉ

Domestic
Texas: Albarino, Trebbiano, Picpoul Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Rosé
West Coast: Sauvignon Blanc, Fume Blanc, Rosé
Imported
Argentina: Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé
Austria: Gruner Veltliner
France: Chablis, white Bordeaux, Sancerre, Muscadet, Petit Manseng, Picpoul Blanc, Rosé
Germany: Dry Riesling
Italy: Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Frascati, Trebbiano, Vernaccia, Garganega (Soave), Orvieto, Gewurztraminer
New Zealand: Sauvignon Blanc
Portugal: Vinho Verde (Blanc or Rosé)
South Africa: Chenin Blanc, Rosé
Spain: Albarino, Verdejo, Godello, Viura, Rosé

UNOAKED, MEDIUM-BODY WHITE

Domestic
Texas: Vermentino, Semillon, Chardonnay
West Coast: Pinot Gris, Fume Blanc, Chardonnay
Imported
Austria: Gruner Veltliner
France: Chablis, Macon Village/Saint-Véran, Alsace Pinot Blanc, Picpoul Blanc
Italy: Vermentino, Verdicchio, Fiano, Greco, Cortese (Gavi)

RICH, MEDIUM to FULL-BODY WHITE

Domestic
Texas: Roussanne, Vermentino, Chardonnay
West Coast: Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Viognier
Imported
France: white Bordeaux, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet, Charlemagne, Marsanne, Viognier, Roussanne, Alsace Pinot Gris
Italy: Chardonnay

AROMATIC, SWEET and SEMI-SWEET WHITE

Domestic
Texas: Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer
West Coast: Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc
Imported
Argentina: Torrontes
Germany: Riesling, Gewürztraminer
France: Vouvray (Chenin Blanc) or Blanc Moelleux, Alsace Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc
Italy: Gargenega, Moscato

In general, pricing is a guideline as to the style of wine making in red wines.
Less expensive reds are made to enjoy as soon as you uncork. Pour and enjoy!

More expensive reds typically need 20 to 40 minutes to decant (breathe) to enjoy to their fullest.

FRUITY, LIGHT-BODY RED
Domestic
Texas: Ruby Cab, Dolcetto
West Coast: Pinot Noir, Barbera, Zinfandel
Imported
France: Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Côtes du Ventoux, Gamay, Cinsault, Counoise
Italy: Bardolino, Primitivo, Chianti Classico, Nebbiolo
Spain: Tempranillo, Grenache, Carignan