Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Super Shrimp Platter
My son, George, served a shrimp platter at his daughter's recent Communion party. They were sublimely perfumed and delicious ... the best I have ever had ... and I've eaten a lot of shrimp in my lifetime. They were so good that I had to document his recipe. So here it is:
Take two pounds of uncooked shell-on shrimp (of whatever size your budget will permit ... and, if you can find them, never frozen ... but, if frozen, defrost them first in the refrigerator overnight) and de-shell/de-vein them ... leaving the tail shells on if you wish.
Bring to a boil a copious amount of well-salted water. Add a few nice bay leaves, a tablespoon of mustard seeds, and a tablespoon of peppercorns. Then add the cleaned (and briefly rinsed) shrimp. Bring the water back to a boil and boil briefly (about two minutes) making sure all the shrimp have turned pink. Drain out all the water and place the shrimp in a large freezer bag with lots of ice (crushed, if possible). Put this in the refrigerator while you make the cocktail sauce.
To make the cocktail sauce: In a small bowl place 1/2 cup of Heinz ketchup, a tablespoon of good-quality prepared horseradish, a few squirts of Worcester sauce, the juice of half a lemon, and the zest from this same half lemon (this ingredient is important).
Serve the cold shrimp nestled on lots of cracked ice on a large platter (or platters) with the cocktail sauce centered thereon. Add a garnish of watercress or finely-chopped iceberg lettuce if you are of a mind. Enjoy with some ice-cold beer (and invite me).