Phyllis' Possible Mojito Shrimp
Since we all agree that it is impossible to make this ceviche outside of Belize, I have to give you some more recipes to choose from.  This mural was the first time I ever had family members help with a project.  So, on top of my nephew’s impossible recipe, I’m including one of my sister’s very doable recipes.  (She has the cooking gene.  If you lack it, like me, it still may not be doable.)  Since we’re talking about an experience in the Caribbean, this recipe has the taste of mojitos. 

Phyllis' Possible Mojito Shrimp
Belize, Alaska, that "M" state up north, or wherever you may find her

The very first thing you have to do it toss the shrimp into a sealed container with the marinade.  So, if you can’t buy shrimp that is already peeled and deveined, feel sorry for yourself and then get crackin’!  When your shrimp is cleaned and your marinade is prepared, combine it all at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. 

Some people may want to add rum to the marinade.  I don’t.  But, with or without it, you don’t want to over marinate the shrimp.  I remain skeptical that lime juice (as well as rum) can actually cook anything.  However, I’m told that those ingredients do, in fact, cook the shrimp.  And, believe it or not, Ripley, it is possible for them to overcook the shrimp if you marinate too long.  Now, just in case you didn’t know it, an overcooked shrimp has ruined texture.  I must have never had overcooked shrimp in my life.  I never met a shrimp I didn’t like, especially with a good dip.

Mojito Ingredients:    
  40 mint leaves, chopped   1 Tbs. coconut oil
  1/2 cup sugar   1 tsp. grated lime zest
  4 stems green onions, chopped   1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  3 Tbs. fresh lime juice   1/3 cup light rum (optional)

Combine the mint, sugar and shallot in a medium bowl.   Use a wooden spoon to crush these ingredients before whisking in the lime juice, oil, lime zest, salt and that optional rum.  Stir it all up until the salt dissolves.  But, wait a minute!  Coarse kosher salt?  Really?  Who seriously has that in their kitchen?  Even my sister with that cooking gene doesn’t have that.  Actually, she didn’t even use any salt.  So, if you are going to use salt, use what you really find in your kitchen.

The Rest of the Ingredients:    
  2 lbs. peeled, deveined shrimp   2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  Mojito marinade   fresh mint sprigs
  1 container white mushrooms   1 red onion, chunked
  1 small zucchini, chunked and   1 cup snow peas
  xxslightly salted on both sides    

While the shrimp marinates, one at a time prepare the vegetables.  Sauté the onion at medium heat for about three minutes and toss it in your serving bowl.  Next, sauté the mushrooms about the same time and then they also go into the bowl.  The zucchini needs to be slightly browned on each side and then, well, you know where it goes.  Finally, sauté the snow peas for two minutes and toss them in the bowl as well.

By this time the shrimp should be marinated.  Spray your cooking pan with oil and have it hot and ready for the shrimp.  Make sure the shrimp is soaked with juice but not drowning in the sauce.  You still want the shrimp to sauté, but you need a little sauce.  After all the shrimp is cooked, you can discard the excess marinade.  The shrimp will be gray when you put it in the pan.  It cooks quickly.  After a minute or two, the side will turn pink.  You need both sides pink.  Do the math.

Don’t cook all the shrimp at the same time.  Divide the bounty into three portions.  When the first batch is complete, pour that third of the shrimp and the juices into the vegetables.  After you have done this three times, add all the lime juice and toss the mixture.  Serve with rice if you want and garnish the dish with mint sprigs.  

Copyright 2017 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.