Hey Internet ermahgerd guess what?! I entered my first cooking competition this weekend! That was fun! And really, it was just for fun. A dear friend very kindly gave me the opportunity to make some products for the competition gift bags, and in the end I found myself in the competition kitchen, somehow…
The event was the second annual AvoShowdown hosted by Avocados from Mexico. It was a very cozy cooking competition and deliciousness tasting experience. 16 incredible avocado-themed dishes. Free booze and avocado cocktails. A huge gift bag full of avocado-related goodies. It’s okay, I know you’re jelly.
From top left: Avocado Crema Cocida, Avocado Cannoli, Sole Ceviche on Plantain Chips, Siamese-Style Avocado Stuffed Prawns
Many of the competitors are in the food business, and I felt like a real nobody from nowhere. So, all the more surprise when I won the “People’s Choice Award”!
The dish that I scrambled to scrape together, which I named “Avocado Jewel Boxes”, was a shrimp ceviche wrapped in avocado, and topped with arugula and a potato crisp.
Despite the very authentic molcajete (Mexican-style mortar and pestle) I won, I think my best win at this competition was the huge tote bag of leftover avocados I came away with. Stay tuned for my tip on storing these green babies!
You might want some more information on the AvoShowdown Event. Here you go.
Avocado Jewel Box
2-3 avocados, halved and cut into thin slices.
400g raw shrimps
Handful of arugula leaves and cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1x English cucumber, sliced into ~5mm slices
2x lemons, juiced
2x limes, juiced
1x orange, juiced
1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
1x jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
10x cherry tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1x medium russet or yellow potato, cut into thin slices.
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Put in shrimps and remove from heat. Remove shrimps when just cooked, about 1 minute. Run under cold water, drain, and set aside.
- Combine shrimps with lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, onions, and jalapeño pepper. Cover and put in the fridge for 1-3 hours.
- Add tomatoes, chopped cilantro, salt, pepper, and oil. Stir to combine, and let marinate at least 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, thinly slice the potato. Using a cookie cutter, cut a smaller circle in the middle of the potato slice. Lightly oil a plate. Mix potato slices with some oil, salt, pepper, and a tiny bit of cayenne pepper. Spread potato slices in a single layer on the plate, and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes. Turn the slices over, and microwave for another 2 minutes. (**See note)
- Using a ring cookie cutter, put a cucumber slice on the bottom. Line the sides with avocado slices, drain and spoon the shrimp mixture into the centre. Top with a potato slice, and put a few arugula and cilantro stems in the middle of the ring.
Note: Potato slices are ready when they are golden brown, dried, and crispy. As each microwave is different, carefully watch the potato slices as they are cooking, and adjust your cooking time accordingly.