I LOVE shrimp! And although it’s nothing new as an appetizer, there is more than one way to serve it. It can be a party appetizer, a bit of bling for a sit down dinner, or even a warm main dish for the family.
Here are two EASY alternatives to basic shrimp cocktail, and two sauces to try. Feel free to mix and match to your liking! 😉
First, here’s a very simple recipe from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa)
Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
- 2 pounds shrimp (peeled and deveined – leave the tails) – note: go for fresh if you can get it. But frozen is a great option too – just be sure to get the Easy Peel kind rather than the already peeled – the shell protects the shrimp during the freezing process.
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Spread shrimp on a sheet pan w/the oil and salt/pepper in a single layer.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes (until pink, firm, and cooked through)
My wonderfully talented neighbor shared this recipe with me – it’s delish!
Peel 2 pounds of raw, easy peel shrimp, then mix the following together in a ziplock bag with the shrimp – marinate for 1 to 4 hours in the fridge:
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 4 chopped cloves of garlic
- 3 TBSP fresh parsley
- 2 tsp crushed red pepper (some like it hot!)
To cook, just skewer the shrimps and grill them about 3 minutes each side. Or, you can saute them on the stove if the weather is not grill-friendly. 😉
This one is a classic Cocktail Sauce from Ina Garten:
- 1/2 cup chili sauce
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish (this has a kick, so use to taste)
- 2 tsp lemon juice (feel free to squeeze fresh for extra credit)
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (that’s hard to spell)
- 1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce (temper according to taste!)
Don’t like Cocktail Sauce? How about an alternative such as aoli sauce?
Here’s an easy Aoli Sauce my neighbor shared with me:
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp Lime juice
- 1 tsp parsley
- Red pepper to taste
Ok, now that you have a shrimp dish and some sauce, it’s time to put it together!
Having a party? Serve it chilled. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that has a little twist on the traditional. Oh, and don’t forget to garnish it with lemon slices and fresh parsley, or lime and cilantro!
Note: if it’s going to be sitting out for awhile, be sure to add ice to your serving platter. To avoid mushy shrimp, nest the bowl of shrimp inside a larger bowl or platter of ice.
Appetizer for a sit-down dinner:
Have a little fun with martini glasses. Add a slice of lime and/or lemon on the edge of the glass and your dipping sauce of choice inside.
Don’t forget a little greenery – parsley or cilantro would do the trick. Simple, yet lovely!
Need a quick meal for the family? There are several ways for shrimp to take center stage as a warm main dish. Simply serve it over pasta or fresh garden greens.
Here’s the Roasted Shrimp I served as a main dish (sides: rice and a nice salad)
And here’s the Garlic Shrimp I served warm over angel hair pasta (I sautéed the shrimp…it was raining).
Best part is that I’ll enjoy the leftovers chilled with a little Aoli tomorrow night!
What’s your favorite way to serve shrimp? Any other recipes you’d like to share?