|There is definitely more than one way to make a shrimp cocktail. Factor in the many different varieties of shrimp to choose from and you've got a lot of options. Here at the shop we make a very basic (but totally tasty) shrimp cocktail out of our local fresh salad shrimp - just shrimp meat and some sauce! At home if we're in the mood for something a little more "ooh la la" or have guests to impress, we bust out the martini glasses and use our wild Mexican prawns for a real show stopper.
Start with a large bowl and 2-3 prawns per person for an appetizer, double that for a meal. With a pair of kitchen scissors, cut up the back of the shell of each prawn and give the cut area a good rinse to remove any vein. In your bowl mix equal parts sherry and cold water and add your shrimp. Let them marinate about 25 minutes or so in the fridge. With about 10 minutes to go on the bowl time, turn on your oven as hot as it will go with the "broil" setting. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and get that in the oven to heat up. When your shrimp are ready, dump out the sherry mixture and give them a quick rinse. Pat them a bit with a paper towel to get all the water out of the bowl and drizzle some olive oil over the shrimp. Lightly salt them (or sprinkle with blackening/Old Bay Seasoning for more 'zesty' flavor) and dump them out single layer on the hot cookie sheet. Roast in the oven for 4 minutes, then turn the shrimp over with tongs and give them another 3 minutes or so before removing from the oven to cool.
At this point you can dump your shrimp on a plate and start peeling and eating - they are *fabulous*. If you're going for the "wow" factor though, you might consider this fun presentation... fill shot glasses with cocktail sauce and place in the bottom of a martini glass. Use finely chopped celery to fill up the martini glass and anchor the shot glass. Hang your cooled shrimp over the edge and you're done! So pretty!
p.s. This same thing can be done with the peeled and deveined tiger shrimp we have, just back the marinating time down to 15 minutes and take a minute off each of the cooking times - they're smaller shrimp so they'll cook faster.
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