I never much thought of needing a recipe for your basic pick and peel shrimp but here I am typing one. I first thought to post this recipe when I mentioned to a friend that I needed to make the shrimp and cocktail sauce for Christmas Day.
She looked at me quizzically and said, "You make your own cocktail sauce?"
I actually didn't know people bought cocktail sauce. Everyone I know makes their own and everyone does it differently.
Note: I usually buy a 2lb bag of frozen shrimp. I like the 16-20 pp size or the 21-25 pp size. When I cook the shrimp for this recipe, I do not defrost them and I leave the shells on.
Cold Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce
For the shrimp:
2 lb bag of frozen shrimp, shells left on
8 cups cold water
1 12 oz. bottle of beer, I use Yuengling Lager
1/8 c. of cider vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning
Using a large pot, pour in the cold water and add the beer and the vinegar.
Add the Old Bay and bring to a boil.
When this reaches a rolling boil, add the frozen shrimp and give it a stir.
Depending on the size of your shrimp, they are usually ready in about 5-7 minutes. The shrimp will turn pink when they are ready but may not be the consistency that you like. I suggest checking them at 5 minutes and go from there until they reach the texture you prefer.
When they are finished, drain them and let them chill in the refrigerator.
The Cocktail Sauce
1 c. ketchup
1-2 heaping teaspoons. prepared horseradish (I use an actual teaspoon not a measuring spoon!)
2-3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
the juice of 1/4 of a lemon
dash of tabasco (optional)
Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and mix thoroughly.
Taste it! Adjust the flavors as you like. It's your sauce, right? I always wind up adding another squeeze of lemon juice.
This is great for a classic shrimp cocktail first course but don't limit yourself to that. Put out a bowl for your Super Bowl party or bring it along to a family gathering. I like to make this for a light dinner served with a salad, some olives and a loaf of Italian bread.
However you choose to serve it, I hope you enjoy it!