I wanna know, how did people live in Texas before air conditioning was invented? We’ve been in the triple digits for a while now with heat warnings every day this week and it’s just miserable outside. Whew!

Nobody wants to cook, nor do we want to eat heavy, hot meals in this weather. Gotta have something that’s quick, light and easy, right? Even better if it features fresh, homegrown tomatoes! Oh, and shrimp, because we almost always have a bag in the freezer.

We love this Mexican shrimp cocktail or coctel de camarones recipe from Simply Recipes. I’ve made a few changes here and there and while Elise’s recipe says it serves 4-6, I think it’s more like four if you’re eating it as a meal.


  • 1 pound medium shrimp
  • Salt
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup peeled, diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups of chopped tomatoes with their juices OR 1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped (if tomatoes aren’t in season)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (try Whataburger Spicy Ketchup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of a lime, about 2 Tbsp
  • Hot sauce (like Crystal or Cholula) to taste (1 Tbsp to 1/4 cup depending on how hot it is)
  • 1 avocado, cut into chunks


Peel and devein shrimp, if they aren’t already. Then add the shrimp to a pot of boiling salted water and cook until they are just opaque, about 2-3 minutes. Put a cup of the cooking water in the refrigerator to chill.

Cut most of the shrimp into bite-sized chunks, leaving some whole for presentation.

Add the chopped shrimp and everything but the avocado and whole shrimp to a bowl and gently stir to combine. Chill.

When both the shrimp cocktail and the cooking water have cooled, add a little of the cooking water to the shrimp cocktail until you get the consistency you want.

The amount of liquid you add will depend on how juicy your tomatoes were and how you want to eat your shrimp cocktail. We usually like ours pretty thick to scoop up with chips, so we don’t use much of the water. When we’re running low on chips (or calories) and want to use a spoon, we add a bit more!

Add salt and hot sauce to taste, then mix in the chopped avocado. Dunk the whole shrimp into the cocktail, then arrange on top.

Serve in a small bowl with tortilla chips on the side, or any other way you like. Goes great with a margarita!


I like to use already peeled/deveined shrimp for this when I can. If it’s hot, I probably don’t want to be in the kitchen, so I’m taking shortcuts where I can. You can also use already cooked shrimp, but you won’t get as much flavor because you won’t have shrimp broth to add to the mix.

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