When I first saw the title for this recipe
I thought isn’t all shrimp cocktail the same?
I have to now admit that this was indeed the best I’ve had…
It’s due in part to the seasonings
but the passive cooking is what makes them succulent…
Best Shrimp Cocktail
2 pounds deveined (shells removed and tails left on) – I used Jumbo Tiger shrimp
3 tablespoons salt
10 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
2 lemons, juiced, peels reserved and roughly chopped
8 cups ice
Cocktail Sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a large pot, combine the shrimp, 4 cups cold water, salt, thyme, peppercorns, bay leaves and celery seeds.
Cook this mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the water registers 170 degrees and the shrimp are just barely beginning to turn pink, about 5-7 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and add 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice, along with all of the lemon peels.
Cover the pot and let the shrimp mixture rest until the shrimp are completely pink and firm, about 5-7 minutes.
While the shrimp finishes cooking, set aside 8 cups of ice next to the pot.
When the shrimp are bright pink, stir the ice into the pot and let the shrimp cool completely, about 5 minutes.
Remove the cool shrimp from the pot and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Stir together all the sauce ingredients.
All can be refrigerated for 24 hours.
Galley Kat Note:
On our boat I would have not likely have that much ice available
but plunging shrimp in cold water to halt the cooking process
would probably work well.
For the passive cooking part I would tend to remove from hot water after 5 minutes.


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