Saturday, June 23, 2012

How to make a shrimp cocktail

Shrimp cocktail with Curry Mayo Dip
By: Chef Cristian Feher

The shrimp cocktail has become the classic way to enjoy shrimp. It is still viewed by many as a sign of success - to be able to enjoy a shrimp cocktail signifies success and the ability to enjoy the fine things in life. Yes, shrimp have certainly come down in price over time, but good quality shrimp are still a treat for most.

Although it’s been done time and time again, I still like to serve shrimp cocktails to my guests. To me, it’s one of those dishes that will never go out of style. Maybe it’s because I have so much fun posing the shrimp on everything from martini glasses to ice sculptures! 

There is a big difference between cheap, grocery store freezer shrimp, and good quality, fresh shrimp. If you’re lucky enough to be in a part of the world where shrimp are farmed or fished locally, even better! Here in the Gulf of Mexico we are lucky to have good quality shrimp. I always buy my shrimp at Ward’s Seafood in Clearwater, FL.

When you buy shrimp, you want to ensure that you read the ingredients. If you find “tripolyphosphate” anywhere on that list, put them back. Tripolyphosphate is a preservative that is often added to shrimp. I find that it makes them waterlogged and mushy. Good quality, fresh shrimp should be firm and somewhat dry. If it lists “salt” as one of the ingredients, that’s fine - much better than tripolyphosphate. 

Here is a quick and easy recipe that is sure to impress.

Serves 2

- 1 Lb of Tiger Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- Organic salad greens
- 1 cup of mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp of yellow curry powder
- 2 lemon wedges


1. Boil the shrimp in salted boiling water for no more than 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool off. Set aside.

2. To make the sauce, combine the mayo, Dijon mustard and curry powder.  Whisk together well.

3. Place a bunch of greens in the center of a martini glass. Pose the shrimp along the edge of the glass. Cut a slit into the middle of a lemon wedge and stick it to the edge of the glass (see picture). Pour a dollop of curry mayo on top of the greens. Serve and enjoy!

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