Twenty at the Tower Recipe: Classic Shrimp Cocktail

Recipe by Jon Bonnell


For the Shrimp:
2 pounds Wild-Caught Whole Gulf Shrimp 16-20 count (I prefer the white shrimp for this recipe)
2 gallons water
10-15 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 oranges, halved
2 lemons, halved
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

Defrost the shrimp in cold water in the refrigerator, changing the water every few hours.  Bring all other ingredients to a boil for 4 full minutes.  Drop in the shrimp, then cook just until the water comes back to a full rolling boil.  This should be enough to cook the shrimp  all the way through.  Remove the shrimp and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process.  Test one by cutting in half to ensure that they are cooked through.  Remove the heads and peel the shrimp, leaving the tail shell on and remove any vein along the back side.  This can easily be done with the tines of a dinner fork, or using a specialized shrimp-deveiner and peeler, sold in many stores.  Serve chilled with two sauces. 

For the Jalapeno Remoulade Sauce:
2 fresh jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Crystal Hot Sauce
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 pinch hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Texas Red Dirt Rub, Creole Blend

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

For the Chipotle Cocktail Sauce:
6 oz canned chopped tomatoes, drained
6 oz ketchup
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 chipotle pepper (with 1/2 teaspoon of the adodo sauce from the can)
1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pinch ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients well using a food processor until smooth.

Texas is one of the leading shrimp-producing states in the nation, both in wild-caught shrimp and aquacultured varieties.  I cook with shrimp so often and in so many ways that I sometimes need to just get back to basics and enjoy shrimp in its pure form.  I love the simple pure boiled shrimp, with just enough flavor to enhance, but not overpower the delicate and sweet original taste.  Both of these dipping sauces are real crowd pleasers as well.  Be careful when planning for how much shrimp to make for a party.  As any restaurateur can tell you, shrimp is the most voraciously attacked item on any buffet. 

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