Shrimp Cocktail Hour

Unless we’re having guests, dinner at our house does not usually include cocktails or appetizers.  We like to get down to business and dig into the meal.  But sometimes it’s good to shake things up and do something different.  So for no reason other than I wanted to try a Barefoot Contessa recipe, I decided to have a Shrimp Cocktail Hour.  Ok, so maybe we were also in need of something to tide us over to dinner after sitting through 3 1/2 hours of the second Lord of the Rings movie.  I still say that was merely a coincidence but timing wise it was brilliant.

Before we started disk 1, I made the cocktail sauce and cooked up a quick brine, both of which went into the fridge to cool.  When we put in disk 2, I dropped the shrimp into the brine.  As soon as the credits started rolling, I rinsed and peeled the shrimp, heated the oven, and got moving.  Quicker than you can say “My Precious”, it was Shrimp Cocktail Hour.

I may not be able to recognize a hobbit from an elf or a dwarf, but I recognize a tasty dish when I meet one.  And I think this will be making a return appearance…with or without the LOTR.

I am entering this recipe in the Get Grillin’ Event run by Family Fresh Cooking and Cookin’ Canuck, sponsored by Ile de France CheeseRösleEmile HenryRouxbe and ManPans. This week’s theme is appetizers.  Check out all the entries and submit one of your own!

Shrimp Brine

Kitchen Sense

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups ice
  • 2 pounds shrimp

Bring one cup of water to boil and add the salt and sugar.  Stir to combine and boil until the salt and sugar completely dissolve.  Add the ice and remaining 2 cups water and let cool.

Place the shrimp and brine in a large, resealable plastic bag and refrigerate 30 minutes for peeled shrimp, 1 hour for unpeeled shrimp.

Rinse and drain the shrimp before cooking.

{printable recipe}

Ina’s Shrimp Cocktail

Ina Garten

BAH Tip:  Ina’s recipe calls for the shrimp to be sprinkled with salt before they go in the oven.  But since I brined the shrimp, I omitted this step.  If you do not brine, be sure to season the shrimp with salt before they are roasted.

  • 2 pounds shrimp (I used 21-30 count)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Heinz chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Heat the oven to 400 degrees and line two sheet pans with aluminum foil.

Meanwhile, peel the shrimp and place them in a single layer on the sheet pans.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine.  Roast for approximately 8 to 10 minutes until the shrimp are just cooked through.  Remove shrimp from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Add the remaining ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine.  Serve with the shrimp.

{printable recipe}