Before I knew much about food or dining out, I knew that if they brought shrimp cocktails to the table as an appetizer, we were eating at a 'fancy' restaurant. I'm sure I enjoyed the shrimp, but what I really loved was dipping the crackers in the spicy, horseradish-spiked cocktail sauce.
Method for Chef John's Shrimp Cocktail
- 1Stir water, onion, lemon, garlic, tarragon, seafood seasoning, peppercorns, and bay leaf together in a large pot; bring to a simmer and cook until flavors blend, about 15 minutes.
- 2Whisk ketchup, chili sauce, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt together in a bowl; refrigerate until chilled, at least 15 minutes.
- 3Bring poaching liquid to a rapid boil. Cook the shrimp in the boiling liquid until they are bright pink on the outside and the meat is no longer transparent in the center, about 5 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a bowl of ice water and immerse in ice water until cold; drain. Arrange cold shrimp on a platter and serve with chilled sauce.
- 3 quarts cold water
- ¼ onion, sliced
- ½ lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
- 2 sprigs fresh tarragon
- 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay®)
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup chili sauce
- ¼ cup prepared horseradish
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 drops hot sauce, or to taste
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 pounds shell-on deveined jumbo shrimp
August 15, 2021