My dear friends Peter and Tari Bowman live in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I have credited them in my bio with giving me my start in catering - having to do with them moving to Mexico in 1981, buying a restaurant on the beach, and never returning. They not only gave me my start in catering, they gave me a thirst for adventure…in cooking and life. I have always admired them for their bravery, stamina and talents - no sissies could survive the restaurant world in Mexico. Survive they did and 36 years later I am still coming to visit and they are still running their very successful beach restaurant, Daiquiri Dick’s. On the first day of my vacation, I stopped in to the restaurant for a bite to eat, I try to eat as much fish as possible when I am down here so I ordered this dish on the menu described as 'Shrimp in a Wonton Canasta with Salsa Playera, (*fresh shrimp tossed in a spicy but sweet/tart green salsa and served in a fried wonton ‘basket’). It was perfect for my re-entry into Mexico! So fresh and prepared simply, it just might be the perfect appetizer for a Super Bowl (or any) party back home too! Try adding chunked avocado or diced red peppers for a bit more color and added flavor!
This recipe was originally printed in the cookbook "Sand in Your Shoes, The Daiquiri Dick's Kitchen Workbook" by Rafael Nazario. Available on Amazon. I highly recommend it.
* I have attached a you tube video (just for fun) for you to check out. I made this video about 9 years ago, my first and only video to date. It cracks me up. Maybe I will try taping a video again soon, this one borders on embarrassing!
Shrimp in Wonton Baskets with 'Playera' Salsa
4 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 cilantro roots (I know, difficult to find so... substitute stems and a few leaves)
2 serrano chiles, chopped (leave the seeds in for a bit of heat)
1 1/2 t sugar
1/4 t kosher salt
3/4 c rice wine vinegar
2 c shrimp, peeled, deveined, cooked and cooled (cut into medium chunks if large)
12 baby tomatoes cut into quarters (or 1-2 plum tomatoes, seeded and sliced thinly)
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
chunked avocado and/or thinly sliced red peppers, optional
12 wonton baskets (see below)
Place the first six ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour over the shrimp, tomatoes and green onions, (avocado and red pepper if using) and toss well. Allow to marinate for a few minutes. Just before serving, spoon into the wonton baskets. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
For the baskets:
1 pkg square wonton skins (found in the produce section of your local market)
1 egg, beaten with a bit of water (you'll need another egg if you are doing a bunch)
canola or veggie oil for frying
Brush the corners of the wonton wrapper with the egg wash. Pinch together both sides of the same corner on all four corners, creating the basket. Fry in the oil (325 degrees) until golden. Drain and cool on paper towels.
These baskets are great for stuffing with just about anything. Be sure to fill just before serving so they don't get soggy.
As a caterer for over 30 years, I have established a reputation for consistently creating original menus inspired by the occasion and the season, presenting them with an ease and elegance uniquely my own. Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients are the basis of my creative “from scratch” menus, which range from the classically elegant to rustic and whimsical.
"Love your recipes! Pat made your avocado toast a few weeks ago, delish! I'm taking them to a party in a few weeks, although the mushroom crostata looks pretty darn good!"