Christmas Appetizer Recipes from
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Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail with Ginger and Spice Recipe
2 quarts water
1 quart cider vinegar
1 medium ginger root, peeled, sliced paper thin
4 crushed cloves of garlic
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup sugar
6 star anise, crushed slightly
Crushed red pepper flakes
2 pounds of shrimp in the shell (U15s or U10s if you like them giant)
Lemon juice to taste
Tabasco to taste
Sauce of your choice
Celery sprigs, herbs or olives for garnish
In a large acid-resistant pot, combine the water, vinegar, ginger, garlic, onion, lemon juice, sugar and star anise. Add the salt and red pepper flakes to your taste, being very generous so brine seasons the shrimp through the shell.
Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, cooking until the brine is infused with the flavors, about 45 minutes. You are now ready to crimp.
Add the shrimp in the shell to the simmering brine. Return to a simmer, then remove from the heat and allow to gently cook until just about done, about 5-6 minutes. Remove one shrimp and break open to examine the inner thickest part. When the flesh is slightly opaque but still quite moist, remove the remaining shrimp. Lay out in a single layer across damp paper toweling set over a pan of ice cubes to cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To clean: Run a paring knife tip about 1/4-inch deep through the shell into the tail meat. This loosens the shell for easy removal and opens up the back of the tail to remove the shrimp's dark vein. If you have to rinse the shrimp to clean, use a little of the strained, chilled brine. Taste the shrimp to adjust seasonings. If necessary, peel and sprinkle on such things as lemon juice, salt or Tabasco sauce to your taste.
To serve: Position the shrimp with the tip of their tails outward in martini glasses. Fill the center of each glass with sauce. Place a sprig of celery, a few olives or herbs in the center of the sauce. Serve.
Makes 4 servings.
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