Saturday, September 7, 2013

Shrimp Cocktail

Charlie and I love shrimp.  It is what we consider a "special treat -" to us, that means we only buy shrimp once a month or once every couple of months.  So when we do get to eat shrimp, it really is both a special occasion and a treat!

One of our favorite ways to cook shrimp is to use Alton Brown's brining and broiling technique - the brine in particular is really what makes all the difference.  The shrimp come out plump, juicy and bursting with flavor.  In fact, they really don't need any cocktail sauce at all.

The raw, shell on, deveined shrimp rinsed and ready for the brine.

I do the brining in a gallon plastic bag - so easy and I don't have to worry about washing and sanatizing a raw-shellfish-bowl when the brining is done!

The shrimp and ice cubes brine for 20 minutes.  As you can see I got as much air out of the bag possible - kind of an at-home 'cryovac infusion' technique. 

The shrimp removed from the brine, tossed in a little olive oil and laid out on a tin-foil lined cookie sheet.

The shrimp right out from under the broiler - and into an ice cold bowl they go!  The object is to stop the cooking process immediately.

The lucious shrimp cocktail. 

Hey!  Whose hand is that???  I'm still taking pictures!  [Charlie was excited to enjoy some shrimp.]

Have you ever tried brining shrimp?  What did you think?  Please let me know your thoughts on this recipe if you try it!

Brined Shrimp

  • 1 pound frozen deveined, shell-on shrimp, thawed (for this recipe, I use either jumbo or extra large shrimp)
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups ice
  • Olive oil
  • Dash Old Bay Seasoning
Place a clean cookie sheet in the refrigerator or freezer.  This is to chill the shrimp immediately after they are done broiling. 

Make sure the shrimp are deveined.  Place shrimp in a gallon plastic bag, or large bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients except the olive oil and dash of Old Bay Seasoning.  Swoosh the bag around a little until the sugar and salt is dissolved.  Refrigerate mixture for 20 to 25 minutes - don't let the shrimp sit in the brine any longer, though, as they will get too salty (voice of experience speaking here). While shrimp are brining, place a baking sheet or broiler pan under oven broiler and preheat for 5 minutes.  Remove shrimp from brine and drain thoroughly.  Rinse the shrimp under cold water and dry on paper towels. In a large bowl, toss shrimp with olive oil and sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning, if desired.

Place shrimp onto a sizzling sheet pan and return to broiler immediately. After two minutes, turn the shrimp with a pair of tongs. Return the shrimp to broiler for one minute.  Transfer to the cold cookie sheet and refrigerate immediately, until shrimp have cooled completely.

Once shrimp have chilled, arrange them in a martini glass with cocktail sauce or as desired.

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