Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shrimp and cocktail sauce. A classic combination. A timeless appetizer. And actually very entertainer friendly.

Most of us have one oven in our kitchens, which for a holiday or even regular dinner party can prove challenging when preparing appetizers. Since most pastry dough appetizers need to be baked and served immediately, they are pretty much out of the equation when a roast or turkey are the main dish for a dinner or holiday spread. That's why a classic shrimp cocktail is always a great go-to appetizer. The shrimp can be prepared and cooked in advanced and chilled (or served at room temperature) and the sauce can be prepared even up to 3 days in advance. Who doesn't love that?

Ina Garten's recipe for shrimp cocktail calls to roast the shrimp as opposed to boiling them. It's true - by roasting, you really get to extract the natural sweet flavor of shrimp. And believe it or not, you're less like to overcook the shrimp when you're roasting it; boiling it is to direct that if you overboil for even 10 seconds, the shrimp will be rubbery and tough. Roasting really gets a nice and soft shrimp that retains its natural sweetness. Guaranteed, this will become a favorite appetizer for you too.

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail by Ina Garten
2 pounds shrimp
1 Tbsp olive oil
black pepper

1/2 cup chili sauce (recommended Heinz)
1/2 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp prepared horseradish
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp hot sauce (recommended Tobasco)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and devein the shrimp. Toss them in olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and roast 8-10 minutes until pink and just cooked through. Set aside.

Combine the chili sauce, ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce in a small bowl. Serve as a dip with the shrimp.

My Notes:
For a really spicy sauce, use a tablespoon of Sriracha chili sauce instead of the Heinz sauce.

Make sure to use grated prepared horseradish, not the cream horseradish.

Always use freshly sqeezed lemon juice; never concentrate! Especially when making a dipping sauce where freshness is key for good flavor!

Shrimp can be cooked ahead of time and then just served at room temperature. Cocktail sauce can be made 3 days in advanced and refrigerated.

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