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!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Grilled Shrimp Kebabs with Spicy Cocktail Sauce

Homemade cocktail sauce is easy to prepare and brings something special to the party—or to the dinner table, if you’re serving the kebabs as a main course.

What gives cocktail sauce its signature “cocktail sauce” flavor? Horseradish. Look for fresh-grated horseradish in jars in the refrigerated section of your supermarket. (Avoid the creamy horseradish sauce sold in the condiment aisle.)

If you’re putting together a party tray, simply remove the shrimp from the skewers after grilling and scatter them around the bowl of fresh sauce.

Note: If you prefer cocktail sauce with a little less heat, add only one tablespoon of chile paste and one teaspoon of Tabasco.

For a boiled shrimp recipe served chilled, check out Cajun Shrimp Cocktail.

Makes 4 shrimp kebabs

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup grated horseradish (sold refrigerated)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped green olives
  • 2 tbsp ground fresh chile paste (sambal oelek)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 20 large shrimp, (21-25 count), peeled and deveined, tail left on
  • olive oil for drizzling, plus more for brushing grill pan
21-25 Count Shrimp
Peeled, Deveined Shrimp, Tail On
  1. Combine the first 6 ingredients (through Tabasco sauce) in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. (Use salt sparingly—there’s plenty in the other ingredients.) Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour (or overnight).
  2. Combine the chile, cayenne, and garlic powders and paprika in a small bowl and season with salt.
  3. Place the shrimp in a large bowl and drizzle lightly with oil. Sprinkle with the spice mixture and toss well to coat.
Spicy Cocktail Sauce 
Spice Mixture for Shrimp
Oil-and-Spice-Rubbed Shrimp
  1. Thread 5 shrimp onto each of 4 skewers (soaked in water 30 minutes, if wood).
  2. Heat a grill pan (large enough to hold the skewers flat) or a cast-iron griddle over medium-high heat and brush lightly with oil. Grill the skewers until slightly charred and just cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side.
Shrimp Kebabs Ready to Grill
Shrimp Beginning to Grill
Grilled Shrimp Kebabs
Serve as shrimp kebabs with the cocktail sauce on the side, or remove the shrimp from the skewers and place on a platter around the bowl of sauce. (Serve warm or at room temperature.)

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