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Dana Roberts | Pedernales EC

Topped with creamy, spicy shrimp and cheese, these avocados make a great first course for a dinner party, Roberts says. But don’t save them only for special occasions: They come together in a snap and make a satisfying meal on their own.

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1 cup medium Texas Gulf shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup salsa
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese
Lime wedges, for serving (optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)

1. Combine cornstarch and spices in a plastic bag, add shrimp, seal bag and toss until shrimp is evenly coated.

2. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook, tossing frequently, until pink. Add the sour cream and salsa, and stir until well-combined. Reduce heat to medium-low, continue stirring, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, then remove from heat.

3. Preheat broiler. Halve avocado, remove seed and place halves on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spoon half of shrimp mixture into each avocado. Top with equal amounts of cheese, then broil 5–7 minutes, until cheese is golden and bubbly.

4. Serve immediately, garnished with lime and fresh cilantro, if desired.

Serves 2.