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Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp cocktail is a very popular seafood hors d'œuvre. It consists of peeled cooked shrimps which are commonly served chilled with Marie Rose sauce (cocktail sauce) over garden salad.

You can buy shrimp for shrimp cocktail in many forms. It comes cooked, uncooked, peeled, EZ-Peel, tail-on, etc. Many supermarkets sell shrimp platters with shrimp dip. While this seems convenient, in reality it's just frozen shrimp that has been thawed and put on a cheap plastic platter so they can sell it for twice the price. Shrimp sold in this way can go days before it is sold and is usually nearly spoiled by the time it is finally purchased. The best shrimp to buy for shrimp or prawn dishes is frozen shrimp.

When serving shrimp cocktail I recommend buying frozen, cooked, tail-on shrimps that have been peeled and deveined. When you buy shrimps in this form all you have to do is thaw them and they're ready to serve.  If you buy whole uncooked shrimps you will have a lot of work to do before you can enjoy your shrimp appetizers. For more information about buying shrimps, please refer to the accompanying in-depth guide to buying shrimp.

Below you will find recipes for how to cook shrimp for shrimp cocktail and traditional shrimp cocktail sauce. If you took my advice and bought cooked shrimps just skip ahead to the sauce recipe.

Shrimp Ingredients:

1 pound of unpeeled shrimps (I prefer jumbo shrimp)

1 onion sliced in quarters
1 halved lemon
2 tablespoons of kosher salt
8-10 peppercorns

Marie Rose Cocktail Sauce recipe Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons of freshly grated horseradish
1 cup of ketchup
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of Tabasco or other hot sauce

Shrimp Preparation:
1. Fill a medium-large pot with water and add onions, peppercorns and salt. Squeeze the lemon into the pot and put it in as well.
2. Bring the water to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to medium and drop the shrimps in. Cook the shrimps until they turn pink and remove.
4. Allow the shrimps to cool then peel and devein.
5. Place the shrimps in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.

Sauce Preparation:
1. Mix all of the ingredients except the parsley leaves in a pot and place over medium heat for 5 minutes.
2. Place the sauce in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and add the parsley leaves before serving.

There are many elegant shrimp cocktail display methods. The most traditional method is to put the sauce in a small bowl in the middle of a platter with shrimp surrounding it on a bed of lettuce.

You can find more information on shrimp varieties and cooking methods on this website so be sure to bookmark it. Enjoy your shrimp cocktail!
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