What do you think of when you hear the words “shrimp cocktail?” You don’t even need to think about it, do you? I don’t. Those words instantly transport me back in time to the 1970’s and almost every steak house’s appetizer menu. The shrimp cocktail was a classic, wasn’t it? It came to the table in a stemmed glass with seafood cocktail sauce in the bottom, six shrimp (always six) dangling over the edges of the glass and a wedge of lemon. Right?
I always wanted to order a shrimp cocktail before my steak dinner. After all, that was fancy stuff back then. That shrimp cocktail made you feel so grown up and cosmopolitan, didn’t it? And besides, it was really good. Too bad you don’t see it on menus much any more.
Well, I have a shrimp cocktail for you today, but it’s not your 1970’s version. Nope. This one is very much up-to-date and involves not a single dangling shrimp. This one contains bright, fresh flavors with just a hit of jalapeno to make it even more interesting. There’s even a handful of cilantro just for good measure.
1 lb. peeled and deveined medium or large shrimp
3 tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 small jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 tblsp. Italian style salad dressing
Start by bringing a pot of well salted water to the boil. When the water is boiling, add the peeled and deveined shrimp, place the lid on the pot and remove it from heat.
That’s the way I always cook boiled shrimp. Just let them sit in the water without it continuing to boil. There’s nothing worse than an overcooked shrimp. Really. If they cook too long they get chewy and rubbery. Yuck. You always want your shrimp to be tender and just cooked through.
Set the shrimp aside while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
I had both red and yellow tomatoes on hand so that’s what I used. You can use just red or all yellow. Whatever makes you happy. Combine the chopped tomatoes, chopped green onions, jalapeno, cilantro, ketchup and salad dressing.
Drain the shrimp well and stir them into the vegetable mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Overnight is even better. We still had some of this left after two days and it was just as good then as it was the day I made it. It keeps really well and is one of the first things to go on a buffet!
I served it with some sesame Melba toast this time. It’s also great with any assortment of crackers.
–Recipe from Kraft Foods First Taste
An updated southwestern version of the classic shrimp cocktail.
- 1 lb. peeled and deveined medium or large shrimp
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- 2 tblsp. Italian style salad dressing
- Bring a pot of well salted water to the boil.
- Add shrimp to boiling water, place lid on pot and remove from heat. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
- Combine chopped tomatoes, green onions, ketchup, cilantro, jalapeno and salad dressing.
- Drain the shrimp well and stir into the vegetable mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Overnight is even better.
- Serve with Melba toast or assorted crackers.
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