Alison Romans' Shrimp Cocktail

Have you ever forgotten something that you once loved to eat? Then someone "cool" comes along (aka Alison Roman), or a TV show reminds you of the days you used to eat that thing all the time. If you have, welcome to the club because that's how Shrimp Cocktails were for me. I used to eat it all the time at restaurants, or grab those premade platters *eww* at the store back in college. Maybe I ate a weird one and took a break? Perhaps I simply stopped seeing it as often? Did they go "out of style"? I have no idea why I stopped shrimp cocktailing, but I do know I started indulging again because of Alison Roman. Her cookbook and Instagram posts made it seem like I was MISSING OUT big time. What really pushed me over the edge was her Youtube video of her making it. It looked easy enough to try. She got me. I am hooked. Monkey see (Alison) Monkey do (me). She even influenced me to order a wedge salad just last week, along with a martini and shrimp cocktail. It's her signature order at all restaurants that have it. Off topic fan-girling sorry! You are here for the shrimp! With all that being said, I am now forever a shrimp cocktail kind of girl. I make it at home and I order it if it's on the menu. For the most part, I follow her recipe with a few tweaks. The following recipe is with my personal tweaks. Without any more delay, let's make it!

For the sauce *I make half her recipe, I never have a need for 3 cups of this
1 cup ketchup
1-1 1/2 lemon juice *to taste, I like mine very citrusy
2 tablespoons yuzu
1 tablespoon Worcestershire, *if using creamed 2 tbl
1 tablespoon of prepared horseradish
salt and a lot of black pepper

For the Shrimp
2 pounds large raw unpeeled shrimp
1 large onion, quartered
3 lemons, quartered
A handful of peppercorns
A large pinch of red chile flakes 

1. Fill a large pot with water and really salt it, salty like the sea. Add the quartered onion, 2 of the lemons quartered, the peppercorns & red chile flakes. Bring it to a boil and allow the ingredients to infused the water with flavor for about 10 minutes after water starts to boil. 

2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Combine the ketchup, the juice from one lemon (to start), yuzu, Worcestershire and the horseradish in a medium bowl. Season with salt and lots of black pepper. Taste and adjust to your liking. Want more tang, add more lemon. Tastes like ketchup still? Add more horseradish or Worcestershire. Set aside to serve with shrimp.

3. Prepare the shrimp. Fill a bowl with cold water and ice and have it ready next to your stove. If your shrimp is not deveined, now would be the time to do that. Otherwise, lower the shrimp into the pot and cook just until they're bright pink and opaque, 3-4 minutes. It is fast! Do not walk away! You can always sacrifice a shrimp to test that it is cooked all the way through. Cut it at its thickest part to make sure it is opaque all the way through. Remove cooked shrimp using a slotted spoon or tongs and place them directly into the ice bath. 

4. Peel the cooled shrimp leaving the tail bit on the end. 

5. To serve you can use a plate or bowl you chilled in the freezer, or you can do what's traditional and serve them over a bed of ice. Squeeze any left over lemon wedges on them and serve up with the cocktail sauce. 

Cocktail sauce will stay good in your fridge for up to 2 weeks! You could absolutely make it ahead and it may even taste better a day or two later. 

Since rediscovering shrimp cocktail I have made it as an appetizer for get togethers, as my dish for a potluck and as my main meal with a bright side salad! It is always a huge hit! And I owe it all to Alison Roman. 
As always, thanks for being here!