May 08, 2020

SUCCULENT SHRIMP COCKTAIL

2 Comments

Succulent and snappy shrimp cocktail never gets old. These colossal shrimp cocktails are ideal for a special occasion or anytime you want to splurge. I have a few simple tips for obtaining perfect results every time!

Succulent Shrimp Cocktail
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I can’t believe that Mother’s Day weekend is here! How did this happen? We will also be celebrating my husband’s birthday. Because of social distancing, our daughter won’t be able to visit. However, we will make the most of it at home...just my husband, my son, and me. This means there will be a whole lot of grazing going on.


You probably have your own preferred way of making shrimp cocktail. For those who have never attempted making your own, this is for you! 

One thing my gang loves to indulge in is shrimp cocktail. Some feel this seafood is passé but this family thinks it can never go out of style.

Succulent Shrimp Cocktail

This is no ordinary shrimp cocktail. The shrimp are colossal, sweet and succulent. You know they are perfect when they have a snappy, crispy bite yet tender and juicy. 


Mind you, there is nothing complicated to this recipe. In fact, it’s easy but the payoff is huge! I prefer boiling over grilling or oven baked. It’s a method that works for me and gets prefect results. Here are my three tips for perfect shrimp cocktails:


Tip one—Quick dry brine:
Brining the peeled shrimp in a small amount of salt and baking soda keeps them firm and succulent. Thirty minutes accomplishes the job. The salt makes them plump and juicy while the baking soda produces the crispy, snappy shrimp. 

Before cooking, rinse thoroughly in cold water.


Tip two—Do not overcook:
Overcooked shrimp are rubbery. For tender shrimp, remove immediately from the boiling water once cooked through. Raw shrimp are translucent. When they turn opaque with pink-reddish highlights and curl into a “C” shape, they are done. The curling is a result of muscles contracting when the shrimp are cooked.

To cook, drop the shrimp into a pot of seasoned boiling water. Turn off the heat and let them continue to cook. Check for doneness according to guidelines just mentioned.


The below cook time list is an additional guideline. It is important to remember that they are approximations. Cooking time varies depending of the size of the pot, the amount of water, and the number of shrimp. Make sure to check for doneness frequently the first time you cook shrimp. To be absolutely certain, cut through a shrimp. If it’s completely opaque white throughout the center, it’s cooked.
  • small 51/60 count shrimp — 1 minute cook time
  • medium 41/50 count shrimp — 1 1/2 minute cook time
  • large 31/35 count shrimp —  2 minutes cook time
  • jumbo 21/25 count shrimp — 3 minutes cook time
  • extra jumbo 16/20 — 4 minutes cook time
  • extra colossal  8/12 — 5 minutes cook time

Tip three—Soak shrimp in ice water bath:
This is simple and straightforward. Drain and dunk the shrimp immediately into a bowl of ice water once they are boiled. This cools them off quickly and prevents overcooked, rubbery shrimp. Remove after 5 minutes. Pat completely dry with paper towels.


Are you ready to make some shrimp cocktails? Let me walk you through it!

Recipe highlights:
  • Peel shrimp, leaving the tail on. Reserve shells.
  • Rub baking soda and Kosher salt onto shrimp. Chill for 30-60 minutes.
  • Add water, reserved shrimp shells, and Old Bay Seasoning to a stockpot.
  • Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 15 minutes.
  • Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Rinse shrimp thoroughly. 
  • Add to stockpot.
  • Turn off heat. Allow shrimp to poach until they are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooked shrimp and shells to the ice bath to cool completely.
  • Transfer cooled shrimp to a paper towel lined tray. Pat completely dry. (discard shells)
  • Best served chilled with cocktail sauce.
  • See recipe card for detailed instructions.

Succulent Shrimp Cocktail

Succulent Shrimp Cocktail

Succulent Shrimp Cocktail




Succulent Shrimp Cocktail

Succulent Shrimp Cocktail

    How to shell and devein shrimp:
    The recipe calls for shell-on deveined shrimp. If you are using vein-in shrimp, deveining is not difficult. Run a pointed knife or a small kitchen sheer to along the back of the shrimp to cut through shell. Split open and peel off leaving the shell intact at the tail end. Make a shallow slice along the back. The shrimp’s intestinal tract is the black vein that runs down the back. Lift up with the point of the knife and pull off. The shrimp is ready for use.

    Serve the shrimp chilled with cocktail sauce. Use your favorite recipe or store bought. I won't judge :) Honestly, I love the store bought stuff. I have also included my cocktail sauce recipe, which I highly suggest you try. It’s delish!!

    Succulent Shrimp Cocktail



    Flavoring the water:
    My seasoning is very simple. I use Old Bay Seasoning. To impart additional flavor, I also add the shells from the freshly peeled shrimp.

    Prior to cooking the shrimp, bring the seasoned water to a boil for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
    Succulent Shrimp Cocktail

    I hope you’ll try these. No mushy tasteless shrimp cocktails here! This is the kind that you will want to make again and again!

    Wishing all the moms a Happy Mother’s Day!! Enjoy your day♡


    Delicious seafood snacking ideas!



    SUCCULENT SHRIMP COCKTAIL 

    Succulent Shrimp Cocktail


    INGREDIENTS:

    1 pound (8/12 count) extra colossal shell-on shrimp, deveined
    1 teaspoon Kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    8 cups water
    2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
    4 cups ice for ice bath
    watercress and lemon wedges for garnishing, optional


    Cocktail Sauce:
    1/2 cup ketchup
    2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
    1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
    1/4 teaspoon onion powder
    1 teaspoon lemon juice
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


    INSTRUCTIONS:
    1. Peel shrimp, leaving the tail on. Reserve shells.
    2. Rub baking soda and Kosher salt onto shrimp. Chill for 30-60 minutes.
    3. Make cocktail sauce: Add all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk to blend. Chill until ready to use.
    4. 15-20 minutes before shrimp is ready to cook, add water to stockpot. 
    5. Add reserved shrimp shells, and Old Bay Seasoning.
    6. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 15 minutes.
    7. Place ice in a large bowl. Add enough water to fully submerge ice. Set aside.
    8. Rinse shrimp thoroughly. 
    9. Bring water back to a full boil. Add shrimp to stockpot.
    10. Turn off heat. Allow shrimp to poach until they are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Shrimp are done when they turn opaque with pinkish/reddish highlights and curl into a “C” shape. Do not overcook or shrimp will be rubbery. Start checking for doneness at the 3 minute mark.
    11. Use a slotted spoon to quickly transfer cooked shrimp and shells to the ice bath to cool completely, about 5 minutes.
    12. Transfer cooled shrimp to a paper towel lined tray. Pat completely dry. (Discard shells.)
    13. Best served chilled with cocktail sauce. Garnish with watercress and lemon wedges, optional.
    Serving size about colossal 12 shrimps.



    Recipe Notes:

    1. This recipe yields more cocktail sauce then you need. Store refrigerated. Keeps well for 4-5 days.

    Shrimp cooking time guideline:
    • small 51/60 count shrimp — 1 minute cook time
    • medium 41/50 count shrimp — 1 1/2 minute cook time
    • large 31/35 count shrimp —  2 minutes cook time
    • jumbo 21/25 count shrimp — 3 minutes cook time
    • extra jumbo 16/20 — 4 minutes cook time
    • extra colossal  8/12 — 5 minutes cook time



                        Serious Eats
                        Bon Appétit


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      2 comments:

      1. Great shrimp tips--I hate when I overcook mine! One daughter is living with us and a second isolated for 14 days before mother's day so we got to celebrate with 2 out of 3. Strange days indeed...

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        Replies
        1. We will take what we can get these days in terms of time away from our loved ones, right? This is going to go down as the lost year. I can’t believe it’s almost June! I hope you had a good Mother’s Day!

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