No need for a party to have shrimp cocktail


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Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014, 10:50 am
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By Elizabeth Karmel
My favorite thing about fancy parties? They almost always include a shrimp cocktail appetizer — platters of giant, plump shrimp just waiting to be dunked into a piquant cocktail sauce.

But there's no reason you have to wait for fancy parties to enjoy this treat. Best yet, shrimp cocktail is easy to make, can be done in advance, and you don't even have to cook the shrimp yourself (but it is better if you do).

My preference is for large or jumbo shrimp, generally classified as 10 to 15 shrimp per pound. Large usually come in at 15 to 30 per pound.

The best shrimp are flash frozen within hours of being caught. This preserves the flavor and texture of the shrimp. Keep the shrimp frozen until just before you want to serve or cook them. When you are ready, thaw the shrimp under cold running water. This is essential to preserving the texture of the shrimp.

For shrimp cocktail, I cook the shrimp by a method that is closer to poaching. I want the shrimp to be fully cooked, but not over-cooked and this is my fail-safe method. I boil a big pot of salted water and add fresh lemons just before adding the thawed shrimp. As soon as the shrimp are added, the lid goes on the pot and the heat is turned off until the shrimp are cooked, about 3 to 4 minutes for most jumbo shrimp.

Once the shrimp are cooked, I dunk them in cold water to stop the cooking. You know when shrimp are perfectly cooked when the shells come off easily. The shells tend to stick to over-cooked shrimp.

Keep the peeled shrimp dry and cold in the refrigerator, then serve with homemade cocktail sauce. The bloody Mary cocktail sauce here is one of my favorites. The addition of vodka adds a spike of flavor and the rim of celery salt is both pretty and reminiscent of that classic cocktail.

Shrimp Cocktail with Bloody Mary Sauce
This sweet and smoky, tart and tangy bloody Mary sauce is so good you will want to drink it — or adopt it as both your house cocktail sauce and the mixer for your favorite eye opener. Rim your serving dish with celery salt before serving for a special presentation and that hint of celery.
Start to finish: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Kosher salt
2 lemons, quartered
2 pounds jumbo shell-on raw shrimp, thawed if frozen

For the sauce:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup Heinz Chili Sauce
Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
Juice of 1/2 small lime
1 heaping tablespoon prepared white horseradish (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon pureed chipotle peppers in adobo (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) vodka
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Pinch garlic salt
Celery salt, for serving

Fill a large (6- to 8-quart) stockpot halfway with water, then add 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil. Add the lemons, then return the water to a boil. Add the shrimp, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Leave the shrimp in the water for 2 to 4 minutes, or until cooked through, pink and curled. The larger the shrimp, the longer they will take to cook.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a large bowl. Add enough cold water to cover the shrimp, then stir to cool them. When the shrimp are cool, peel and de-vein them, then pat them dry and transfer to a platter or plate. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To make the sauce, in a medium non-reactive bowl, mix together the ketchup, chili sauce, lemon juice and zest, lime juice, horseradish, pureed chipotle, vodka, Worcestershire and garlic salt. Taste and adjust seasonings. If you like a lot of horseradish and chipotle, you may want to add more. The sauce can be made and refrigerated in a glass jar up to one week in advance.
Sprinkle celery salt around the rim of a serving dish. Transfer the cocktail sauce to a serving bowl and place in the center of the serving dish. Arrange the chilled shrimp around the edges.

Nutrition information per serving: 230 calories; 25 calories from fat (11 percent of total calories); 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 230 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 10 g sugar; 31 g protein; 1150 mg sodium.















 



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  Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.




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