Thursday, March 1, 2012



There is nothing better then a visit to my local fish monger--or  Lobster Place in the City--on the weekend and purchasing beautiful shrimps  in addition to the other fish proteins that look good that day.  I love to make a shrimp cocktail using the robust and flavorful U-10-12's whenever I get them (which is virtually "every" time).   I've devised a  method to make a Shrimp Cocktail/Court Bouillon for such.  The shrimps soak up all of the flavors that are incorporated in the court bouillon.  This, coupled with the tanginess of the shrimp cocktail sauce, it is a feast by itself and a great way to start brunch on the weekend.  Warning:  It does stimulate the appetite and makes one want  to eat more.  And later in the day there will be more food.  Fish, of course.

Shrimp Cocktail/Court Bouillon
1 large onion, cut into thin slices
1 celery rib, cut into thin slices
1 fresh bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
2 sprigs of parsley
2 sprigs of fresh dill (or fennel fronds)
1/4 cup coriander seeds
1 tablespoon dill seeds
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon allspice berries
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 lemon, halved
1/2 cup tarragon vinegar
3 quarts of water
1 # extra large shrimps in the shell

For Serving:
shredded lettuce
lemon wedges
Cocktail sauce, either purchased or home-made

Combine all ingredients (except shrimps) in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook at an active simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat.   Let mixture infuse for about an hour.  

Return to a boil.  Add the shrimps and bring back to a full boil.  Cover, turn off heat and let shrimps sit for about 4-5 minutes.  Drain shrimps and when cool enough to handle, peel  and devein them.  Trim off "excess skin" from the deveining area.  Make them clean.  When done, put shrimps in the refrigerator and chill until ready to serve.

To plate:  Fill chilled martini glasses with shredded lettuce.  Place 3-4 shrimps on the rim of the  glass.  Add a lemon wedge and dollop of cocktail sauce in the middle.  Serve with a Bloody Mary or....a Bloody Mary, or a Bloody Mary..

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