Shrimp Cocktail - a toast to a healthy year!

I honestly cannot recall when I started the tradition of bringing the New Year in with shrimp cocktail. Before the stroke of midnight on December 31st I always have shrimp with cocktail sauce. It is a light and healthy dish that I never tire of and apparently my mom has adopted the same tradition. This year instead of a store bought shrimp ring (which are delicious) she made her own jumbo shrimp and cocktail sauce. It was so good and my son ate it up!

Since I started the New Year off in this fashion, I decided to recreate the dish with items from Walmart - I was especially pleased with the jumbo shrimp from the Texas Gulf.  To say I am pleased with the results is an understatement. Cooking the shrimp in a broth composed of lemons, bay leaves, parsley, garlic, carrots and celery gave the shrimp such a wonderful taste.
The only deviation for the recipe I made was to cool the shrimp in an ice bath after I removed them from the broth so I could stop the cooking process. 

I'm not sure if my mom used the same Food Network recipe I found but it will surely give hers a run for the money.

Although I haven't been eating paleo for a couple of months, my plan is to get back to paleo eating and this dish is a perfect appetizer, snack, even meal (when served with some veggies)! I plan on revisiting this over and over again this year.

Shrimp Cocktail
reprinted from the Food Network


Court Bouillon:

  • 10 cups cold water
  • 2 medium carrots, quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, quartered
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, halved
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves


  • 1 pound medium or large shrimp, in the shell, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Cocktail Sauce, recipe follows
  • Lemon wedges


Put the water, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, lemon, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer, set a cover on top slightly ajar, and cook for 10 to 30 minutes.
Drop the shrimp into the liquid and turn off the heat. Cook the shrimp, stirring occasionally, until they curl and turn pink, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes for medium shrimp, 3 minutes for large ones. Drain and cool to room temperature(I cooled mine in ice to stop the cooking process) Peel the shrimp and remove the vein along the curve of the shrimp, if desired. Refrigerate if not serving right away. If refrigerated, bring the shrimp to room temperature 20 minutes before serving.
To serve put the cocktail sauce in a medium bowl and surround with the shrimp, or loop the shrimp over the edge of an individual cocktail glass and top with the sauce. Garnish with the lemon and serve.
Optional Tip: To de-vein the shrimp before cooking, hold a shrimp between the thumb and forefinger with the rounded side of the shrimp upward. Place the pointed end of a wooden skewer at the junction of the second and third segments of the shrimp shell, about 1/8-inch down from the top. Gently push the skewer through the shell and then lift up to remove the vein.

Cocktail Sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
  • 4 teaspoons prepared horseradish, or to taste, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot sauce, to taste
Combine the ketchup, lemon zest and juice, horseradish, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Add hot sauce, if desired. Mix well, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups


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