The very best recommendation for making shrimp cocktail I ever realized got here from the good chef and cookbook writer James Beard.
He was adamantly towards it.
Not the shrimp, in fact, which he adored, however slightly the “overpowering pink menace often called cocktail sauce,” as he wrote in his traditional cookbook, “The New James Beard.”
“For those who worth their candy and delicate taste,” he mentioned, pair your shrimp with lemon, mayonnaise or my private favourite, a tangy rémoulade sauce.
Mr. Beard’s traditional French rémoulade requires a do-it-yourself mayonnaise spiked with a great deal of capers, lemon juice and parsley. I added horseradish and scorching sauce for a kick, and simply sufficient ketchup to tint the sauce pale pink with out letting it cloy. The result’s as creamy as it’s bracing, a superb foil to the shrimp’s candy salinity.
Mr. Beard sorted out the sauce half for me, however to enhance the shrimp I turned to a different culinary nice, Ina Garten.
The standard technique is to poach them in a pot of seasoned water, however Ms. Garten well roasts them as an alternative. Roasting the crustaceans concentrates their taste, conserving them plump and tender with far much less of a danger of overcooking.
Apart from, roasting is a snap. Toss the peeled shrimp on a sheet pan with a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of salt, after which throw the pan within the oven at excessive warmth. The shrimp will likely be completed in 10 minutes or much less, relying on their measurement.
Because you don’t have to plunge the shrimp in an ice bathtub to cease the cooking, they gained’t be overly chilled. Served heat or at room temperature, the shrimp are at their succulent finest.
For those who don’t thoughts the expense, select extra-large shrimp (16 to twenty shrimp per pound), that are enticing to serve and forgiving to prepare dinner. However smaller, extra economical shrimp additionally work completely, so long as you shave a minute or two from the roasting time and watch them rigorously. The shrimp are completed once they flip from translucent grey to opaque pink, however they shouldn’t curl into rounds, which signifies overcooking. Assume gently curving ears, not tightly coiled Os.
Many many years of existence have seen shrimp cocktail fall from the peak of vogue to a type of kitschy attraction. However this one retains its lofty standing by standing on the shoulders of multiple large.