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United Way Kickoff Cookoff: Shrimp and Avocado Salsa

Sample -- and vote for! -- Team Upstate's appetizer entry, "Shrimp and Avocado Salsa" at the United Way's Kickoff Cookoff. The event is from noon to 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9 at the Central New York Regional Market. Pay $5 to sample salads, appetizers, chili, wings, pastas and desserts for more than three dozen Syracuse area companies and non-profits across Onondaga County.

This year, Judge Jim Cecile and humorist Jeff Kramer will attempt to sample everything on the menu.

Team Upstate's spicy salsa -- created by executive chef Thomas Kiernan and sous chef Bill Gokey -- can act as an appetizer, or a meal. The heat is easily adjusted.

Sliced Avocado HalfIngredients

4 ripe avocados

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

4 ounces shrimp, cooked and peeled

1 ripe tomato, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon poblano pepper, finely chopped

1 teaspoon lime zest

¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder

¼ teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper to taste

chipotle-garlic Tabasco to taste


Peel and seed ripe avocados. In a plastic or ceramic bowl, mash the avocados and fold in the lime juice. Fold in your shrimp, tomatoes, onions, peppers, zest and spices. Season to taste with salt and or papper. Adjust the heat to your liking with the Tabasco. Serve with fresh tortilla chips. Makes 16 portions.