I absolutely love cooking for my friends and family, and host monthly dinners for my framily (friends + family) that are in the area. I love spending the time socializing in a relaxed setting as well as planning and executing the menu. One of the first dinners that sparked this was an overabundance of avocados I had and the need to use them up lest they go bad. You know avocados, you look at them funny and they go from ripe to overripe! There were too many for me to eat alone, so why not invite some friends to share the bounty?
Planning the menu felt a little like an episode of Iron Chef – how many different dishes can I make using avocados?! For this dinner I made 4 avocado dishes, plus yogurt marinated grilled chicken kabobs and a cucumber salad. The full avocapolypse was:
- Aleppo pepper and yogurt marinated chicken kabobs
- Cucumber, onion, yogurt salad
- Tequila lime avocado shrimp ceviche
- Avocado hummus*
- Spaghetti squash with avocado pesto (I added toasted pine nuts to the pesto recipe)
- Avocado, feta, and Aleppo pepper spread** for warm crusty bread
The guests were few but the food and camaraderie (and leftovers) were great! I had so much fun with this menu that it’s inspired me to do more themed menus like Indian and Mediterranean cuisines; however, this was a particularly fun challenge since it was themed on a single ingredient. I expect that in the future I’ll similarly challenge myself to a single ingredient or possibly have someone put together a list of ingredients that I need to work with, a la an episode of Chopped!
Below is the recipe I made for the Tequila Lime Shrimp Ceviche with Avocado, along with my notes. Recipes for some other menu items are in the links above. Have you done a themed dinner? Please share your experience, would love to hear about your theme and menu!
* This was before I knew how to make my own hummus so I took pre-made hummus and blended it with an avocado and fresh squeezed lemon juice.
** Literally diced avocado, crumbled feta, and a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper.
Tequila-Spiked Shrimp Ceviche with Avocado
This was quick and easy and a huge pre-dinner hit!
Credit: Cookin’ Canuck
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp tequila (I also added a splash of triple sec)
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 avocado, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (remove seeds if you want it less spicy)
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Salt to taste (recipe suggests ¼ tsp)
1. Boil a large pot of water and add the shrimp. Cook for a minute, remove and place in an ice water bath to stop them from cooking.
2. Cut the shrimp into ½ inch pieces and place in a medium bowl. Add the lime juice and tequila. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
3. Add tomato, avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, and salt. Stir to combine.
4. Serve with tortilla or other chips.