Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cajun Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp cocktail is always a welcomed guest at the party—especially when it's spiced up with Cajun flavors.

The key is homemade cocktail sauce that brings a freshness and flavor depth you just can't get from a store shelf. Prepared horseradish is sold in jars in the refrigerated section of your supermarket. (It's not the creamy horseradish sauce sold in the condiment aisle.)

Prepared Horseradish
This recipe is easily doubled or tripled for a larger crowd.

  • 4 garlic cloves, divided

  • 2/3 cup ketchup

  • 3 tbsp prepared horseradish 
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tsp Tabasco
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 12-oz lager beer
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried red chile flakes
  • 1 lb large shrimp (21-25 count)
Shrimp Ready to Boil
  1. Finely chop 2 garlic cloves and place in a medium bowl. Smash and peel the other 2 cloves and set aside.
  2. Add the ketchup, horseradish, and next 8 ingredients (through mustard powder) to the bowl with the chopped garlic. Season with salt and pepper and stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour (may be made a day ahead).
Garlic and Cajun Spices
Ketchup and Horseradish Whisked In 
Cocktail Sauce
  1. Fill a bowl or baking dish (large enough to hold the shrimp in a single layer) with ice.
  2. Pour the beer into a medium pot and add enough cold water to equal about 1-inch depth. Add the smashed garlic cloves, oregano, and chile flakes to the liquid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. (Keep an eye on it—even with water added, the beer may foam and spill over if the pot isn’t deep enough.)
Boiling Liquid and Aromatics
Boiling Liquid Ready for Shrimp
  1. Add the shrimp and boil until pink, 2-3 minutes, depending on size. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon to the bed of ice and let chill until cold, turning once.
Shrimp Beginning to Boil
Chilled Shrimp
To serve, arrange the chilled shrimp on a platter and serve the cocktail sauce in bowls alongside. 

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