Maybe its a 60's thing, but I still need a shrimp cocktail now and then to stay grounded. The keys to perfection are not to overcook the shrimp and to put some heat into the cocktail sauce.
For the shrimp: Get some big ones (11-15 per pound). Peel. Pour a bottle of beer into a pot and bring to boil (scim off the suds). Place the shrimp in the boiling beer. Boil for a minute or less. Then turn off the heat, cover the pan and steep for another minute, not more. That's all folks! Remove the shrimp, chill and hold.
For the sauce: 4 parts ketchup and 1 part horseradish, a generous squirt of lemon juice, a few grains of salt, 3 or 4 grinds of pepper corn and a dusting of cayenne.
Why pepper and cayenne? Both contain capsaicin but they work differently. Pepper is spicy and hot up front in the mouth while cayenne is warm and hot in the back on the mouth. You taste pepper right away and feel cayenne later.
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