A timeless appetizer, the shrimp cocktail has graced many dinner tables, party spreads, and restaurant menus. Here’s how to make this simple yet elegant dish.
For the Shrimp:
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails left on
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt, to taste
For the Cocktail Sauce:
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2-3 tablespoons prepared horseradish (adjust according to your heat preference)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- A few dashes of hot sauce (like Tabasco), optional
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Prepare the Shrimp:
- Fill a large pot with water, add the lemon halves, peppercorns, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and let the flavors infuse for about 10 minutes.
- Bring the water back to a boil, then add the shrimp. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until they are pink and opaque.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to an ice bath (a large bowl filled with cold water and ice cubes) to stop the cooking process.
- Once cooled, drain the shrimp and pat them dry with paper towels. Place them in the refrigerator to chill.
2. Prepare the Cocktail Sauce:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce (if using). Mix well.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Cover and refrigerate the sauce for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.
- Arrange the chilled shrimp around the edge of a serving platter or in individual cocktail glasses. Place a bowl of cocktail sauce in the center.
- Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.
Classic shrimp cocktail is often accompanied by a slice of lemon and a sprig of parsley for added presentation.
Enjoy your classic shrimp cocktail! Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just enjoying a quiet evening at home, this dish is sure to be a hit.