Did you know that shrimp cocktail can go from OK to straight up fantastic by pickling your shrimp? I didn’t until now. I have gone my entire adult life boiling plain ass shrimp and serving it as Shrimp Cocktail!
Where have I been? All this time I’ve been thinking that the quality of the shrimp I get makes the only difference.
Who likes plain ass shrimp? Not me. As a matter of fact, if you know anything about me, I don’t like plain ass anything.
Now, don’t get me wrong, you definitely don’t want to go to your regular ol’ grocery and grab a pound of shrimp not knowing how fresh it is, because you can’t. Freshness definitely counts. Do not get nasty old shrimp.
The. Following. Makes. Such. A. Difference.
This is a recipe for pickled shrimp given to me by my brother-in-law who has been an executive chef for many years here in Alabama. There’s a certain trust you have about someone who works in the kitchen daily and enjoys it. He loves to cook at home, so there’s the trust for me.
Actually, I can’t imagine someone choosing that profession and not liking it. Who wouldn’t like doing that for a living??
Wish I could.
So, so wish I could. But, I would so miss my work peeps.
We had my brother-in-law over a couple of weeks ago and I cooked dinner for him – a tad intimidating to say the least. He’s a professional; I’m a wannabe. Nevertheless, I jump at the chance to cook for anybody because for whatever reason I just love feeding people. I love the process from making food to watching people eat and seeing a reaction on their face. Even if it’s a look on their face like this-tastes-like-crap-but-I-don’t-know-how-to-tell-you, I still appreciate it. Playing with food is my absolute passion, and if I don’t get real feedback I can’t fix what isn’t right about what I’m making.
Anyway, this is SOOO easy and makes your shrimpies taste so good, even before it takes a dip in cocktail sauce.
Adapted from my brother-in-law
2 lbs shrimp, deveined if possible, but leave shells on
1/2 gallon water
1 tbsp salt
4 tbsp pickling spice
1/2 onion, halved
1/2 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
Ice and water in a large bowl
Bring water through lemon to a boil for two minutes, add shrimp and boil for an additional two minutes. Immediately pour shrimp into an ice water bath.
Peel (except for tails) and serve with cocktail sauce. Makes about 4 appetizer servings.
Looking for more appetizer ideas? Check out Salmon Ceviche!