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Shrimp Cocktail
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins

Shrimp cocktail is always a winning appetizer, but it's even better when it's homemade, from the cocktail sauce with a kick and the perfectly poached shrimp.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Shrimp Cocktail
Author: Kami | NoBiggie.net
For the Shrimp:
  • 2 lbs. jumbo shrimp shells on
For the Cocktail Sauce:
  • 1 cup ketchup Heinz brand
  • 1/4 cup prepared hot horseradish Beaver brand
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco hot sauce *optional
  • 2 tablespoons apple sauce
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1 lemon cut in half (for poaching)
For Serving:
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges for serving
  • green leaf lettuce *optional garnish for serving
Poach the Shrimp:
  1. Fill a large stock pot with 8 cups of water (2 quarts). Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the water, and then add the lemon halves into the water as well. Bring the water to a boil, and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Add the shrimp (shells on), cover the pot with a lid, and let the shrimp poach for 4-5 minutes. Watching your timer, at four minutes, check the shrimp for done-ness, they will be pink and firm. Immediately turn the heat off. Cover the pot one more time and keep the shrimp in the water for about two minutes longer. Remove the shrimp from the water, placing them on a parchment lined sheet pan to cool. Do not rinse them. Once the shrimp have cooled enough to handle, remove the shells and devein all of them, leaving the shrimp tails on. Move to a covered bowl to chill for a minimum of two hours before serving.

Make the Cocktail Sauce:
  1. In a small bowl mix together the ketchup, horseradish sauce, Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, Tobasco sauce, apple sauce and lemon zest. Stir all together until combined and the sauce is smooth. Serve cold with the chilled shrimp.

  2. Serve the shrimp on a platter with the cocktail sauce in a small bowl. Serve over crushed ice, lemon wedges and on a bed of green leaf lettuce for added color.

Recipe Notes

Poach the shrimp and mix up the sauce a day ahead or at least a minimum of two hours before serving (giving them time to chill in the fridge).