Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Shrimp Cocktail “Latino Style” – prepared in less than 15 minutes


Last week was my husband Meakin’s birthday and shrimp cocktail is always one of his requests. As a very young boy Meakin had grown-up taste. When he was about six or seven for his birthday his parents treated him to dinner at one of their favorite restaurants, Snuffy’s Steakhouse in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, where he ordered shrimp cocktail as an appetizer followed by swordfish steak and French fries as a main course and cherries jubilee for dessert. Apples don’t fall far from the tree. His grandson at about the same age was handed a children’s menu one evening when we were dining in a nice restaurant. He promptly gave it back to the waitress and said, “I don’t eat from the children’s menu.”

I fixed a jazzed up version of shrimp cocktail we call “Latino Style” from a recipe adapted from a very old issue of The David Rosengarten Report. I hadn’t planned to take a picture, but Meakin was anxious to use his new birthday present, a Nikon D90, so he snapped a few. I protested, “I haven’t styled the plate for a photo,” but that didn’t stop him. I hadn’t planned on posting the recipe, but he insisted that this is too good not to share with you, so here it is. The best part is that is can be prepared in under 15 minutes. Feel free to change the green olives, cilantro and hot pepper to your taste; just don't leave out the freshly squeezed orange juice in the sauce. You could even add some chopped celery for crunch. There are no hard and fast rules in this recipe.

One note - please take the time to buy the best shrimp you can find. Wild is the best. The imported tiger shrimp that have that iodine taste almost ruined my love for shrimp forever.

Shrimp Cocktail “Latino Style”
Adapted from The David Rosengarten Report – serves 2

½ pound large cooked peeled & deveined shrimp – preferably wild
1 tomato, chopped
3 tablespoons minced cilantro
2 – 3 tablespoons green olives, cut in half
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped
½ cup ketchup – we like Heinz’s Low Sugar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 – 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon Tabasco

In a large bowl, mix together the cooked shrimp, tomato, cilantro, green olives and jalapeno. In another bowl, prepare the sauce by mixing together the ketchup, orange juice, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. Add most of the sauce to the shrimp. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or refrigerate for several hours. Serve on baby greens.

To cook shrimp perfectly I follow Mark Bittman’s recipe in How to Cook Everything. It is important to stay by the stove with the shrimp and keep a close eye on them; otherwise they will overcook before you know it. Overcooked shrimp are tough and rubbery. Place unpeeled shrimp in salted water to cover in a saucepan and turn the heat to high. When the water boils, reduce the heat and cook just until the shrimp turn pink. Large shrimp could take 3 to 5 minutes; medium shrimp may be done the minute the water boils. To be sure, cut one open and see. Immediately remove from the heat, drain and rinse under cold water. Peel and devein. Sometimes I cook the shrimp in Old Bay seasonings, other times I use flat beer and a few bay leaves, but most often I just cook in very salty water.

The sauce is based on ketchup, which is mostly sugar. Recently we have come to love Heinz Reduced Sugar Tomato Ketchup. We’ve done the blind taste test and couldn’t tell a difference. However, if you take a look at the label, you can definitely tell a difference. Per tablespoon there is 1 gram of sugar compared to regular ketchup’s 4 grams - a 75% difference. Regular Heinz ketchup also contains high fructose corn syrup, the reduced sugar one doesn’t. Where’s the sugar - the reduced sugar one has sucralose (Splenda). If you’re watching your calories, compare 15 calories to 5 in the reduced sugar version.

What is your favorite meal for your birthday dinner?

45 comments:

  1. This sauce sounds good, and easy to have on hand ingredients! Thanks for sharing!

    That's funny about not wanting to eat off the kids menu. My daughter was the same way, the only reason she would want to do that was the portions size, not the food selection! One of her favorite meals was grilled salmon, steamed broccoli and rice! But then she always wanted ice cream for dessert! :)

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  2. What a great recipe for cocktail sauce! Can't wait to try it!

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  3. Can't wait to try this recipe! Thanks for the tip on the ketchup. Happy Birthday to your husband.

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  4. This looks fabulous and sounds delicious! I'll have to try this soon!

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  5. Well we still love that dish also..In fact one of my prepared posts is about this dish..Your sauce looks way tastier than mine..

    Thank you so much for your recipe..I appreciate it:)

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  6. If Meakin thinks this is too good not to share then it must be wonderful! Can't wait to try it. Thanks, Sam.

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  7. Sam, love this shrimp dish...simple and easy and most importantly, very tasty :-)

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  8. This dish would look great in any Cuban restaurant here in Miami. Great flavor profile. Love the presentation. Man, I love shrimp, but overcooked shrimp is garbage. You really have to be careful not to overcook. Great job with this post.

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  9. This would be a great recipe to add to the list. I am always lookingf or new and flavorful shrimp recipes.

    Happy Birthday to your husband. Looks like his day was a good one. I love his new Nikon camera.

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  10. I am always up for any Latin flavors so this is right up my alley. It looks incredible! If cake is considered a meal, that is what I want for my next birthday ;)

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  11. oh this looks wonderful and I agree I get wild caught so much better taste love your grandsons comment so cute

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  12. Children say the darnest things....
    The shrimp looks sp scrumptious, I could tuck right in...

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  13. I like how you say 'he had grown up taste', don't you just love it when kids love to eat and try new things!

    Kids are just fun!

    That shrimp looks so good!

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  14. yum, cilantro, tabasco and jalapeno..love it

    sweetlife

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  15. This is certainly anothet grand coktail recipe!

    Must be very tasty! Yummm,...!!!

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  16. Sam, I had to laugh at the line "I don't eat from the Children's menu!" Every once and a while I spot something on the kid's menu (mac and cheese) that I'd like to have, but can't because I'm and adult! The recipe sounds wonderful. These's days "ready in 15 minutes" is my first choice!

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  17. You do know, I'm a sucker for the story. I do love how some children just gravitate away from chicken nuggets. I have some wild-caught shrimp sitting in my fridge - bless this Texas company that comes up once a month from the Gulf with a truck filled with shrimp! And am going to try it. Happy birthday to your husband!

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  18. What a wonderful idea to switch up a typical shrimp cocktail. Who knew! Thanks for the great idea. And what a cute story.

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  19. Sam, I really love your cocktail sauce. It will put a little zip into one's step :-). I hope Meakin had a fabulous birthday and that you both are having a wonderful day...Mary

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  20. Another delicious-sounding recipe! And good for your grandson!

    Happy Birthday to Meakin and I hope that he enjoys his D-90 as much as I am enjoying mine. What a camera!!!

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  21. my kid would be all over this that is if I dont hog it all myself -

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  22. Happy Birthday to your husband! The shrimp sound amazing with the jalapeno and cilantro. I'm not sure that I've had shrimp with those flavors before, but I know I'd like it.

    I'm not sure if I know my favorite meal or not. Maybe steak and/or pasta? Hmmm....definitely something to think about.

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  23. This looks so delicious, Sam. Thank you for the recipe.

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  24. Fabulous shrimp cocktail - the flavors sound fantastic!

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  25. Looks wonderful Sam. Don't you love David Rosengarten. I miss seeing him on TV. I have a feeling my granddaughter will be one of those children who do not eat off of the children's menu. She has very sophisticated taste.

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  26. I am not sure I have a "faborite" meal .. I like to browse the open market and find inspiration for a special meal.
    But if I have to say something, I'd say "coquilles saint jacques".

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  27. This sounds delightful, especially for summer.

    I hate to be silly, but my favorite birthday meal has more to do with "eating out" than what it actually is.

    Luckily, my husband's favorite is a very simple pasta dish. That's a present for ME, too. :)

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  28. this looks like a dish I could tackle~and so delicious! Incredients,close by! A real quickie,too!!

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  29. I haven't liked shrimp since we moved from Florida in 2000. We used to buy ours in Mayport, FL where the shrimp boats docked. Every time I buy it here in TN, the shrimp tastes off and has a weird texture.

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  30. Your cocktail sauce sounds so delicious, Sam. I like the addition of a little oj. I'm looking forward to trying this soon.

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  31. Sam,

    thank you for the kind words and your support.

    He's the link to the MBA's site.

    http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx

    On the right side of the page is a search box. Any seafood you want, they will give you great information on sustainability. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Lazaro

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  32. Good morning Sam, Im really enjoying your posts after coming across your blog by pure accident this morning. Somethings are meant to be I've learnt and I was taken by your carcophony of practical advice and down to earth recipes mixed with a bit of cheekiness which made me laugh. Thankyou. I'm looking forward to reading more. Kindest regards, Therese

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  33. Anything with fresh shrimp is wonderful! I think you are marinating the shrimp in the cocktail sauce--yum!

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  34. Excellent recipe and not just for a birthday!

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  35. Hi Sam, another great recipe that I'd love for someone to make for me. I am no longer much of a cook but I love, love shrimp. I try to boil shrimp for myself about once a week and maybe I will get up the gumption to make your sauce. I usually open a bottle, but I add a little horseradish to it.

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  36. I was salivating while looking at the shrimp and reading the recipe – honest. I’ll copy it right now. My favorite meal for my birthday would be a couscous royal, Tunisian style. But I cannot get it here. Would have to fly to Paris or Marseille, or Nice. Another great meal would be 8 to 10 different kinds of French cheese to choose from with a variety of breads and accompanying wines. Dreams…. For my last birthday I still had a meal I liked. We were in San Antonio, Texas, and ate in one of the oldest German Jewish deli, and it was good.

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  37. I nominated this wonderful blog for an award! Please check it out here. Cheers!

    http://lazarocooks.blogspot.com/2010/04/winner-islazaro-cooks-again.html

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  38. Beautiful photo and luscious shrimp! Happy B-Day Meakin! GREG

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  39. Happy belated birthday to Meakin!

    One of my favorite foods is shrimp! This recipe sounds wonderful as I also love spicy food.

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  40. The shrimp look and sound delicious. I'm always looking for shrimp recipes as they are a favorite. When we lived in Charleston, I frequently met the shrimp boats. Now I rely on the grocery stores. The only thing I'll change about your recipe is to leave the cilantro out of my husband's portion. Me, I like cilantro. He says it tastes like "soap".

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  41. The orange and lime juice in the sauce is unusual, Sam. I think I would love it. You're so right about shrimp! They must be fresh, and an "island" girl like you would know! I'm so lucky to live in Florida where fresh seafood is so easy to come by. And I take full advantage of it too!
    My youngest son has shrimp cocktail every chance he gets...I'll try this on him!

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  42. I have been wanting to make a baked shrimp cocktail for some time now. Now that weather is getting warmer I can see myself trying something like this on BBQ.

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  43. Shrimp Cocktail is a favorite at our house. I will enjoy giving this recipe a spin!

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  44. Wild Louisiana shrimp are the best! I love the fresh briny ocean flavor. What a great gift to receive a D90!

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  45. This looks delicious and I've bookmarked it to make next week.

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Sam