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?