Perfect Shrimp Cocktail

Perfect Shrimp Cocktail


Perfect Shrimp Cocktail

2 pounds largest shrimp available (we used U10, U10 means Under 10 shrimp per pound), peeled and deveined, reserve shells

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon baking soda


Toss the shrimp in the salt and baking soda and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the court bouillon.


Court Bouillon

4 cups cold water

1 cup dry white wine

2 stalks celery, diced

½ small onion, diced

1 small fennel bulb diced

zest from one lemon (cut off with a paring knife, not zested with a grater)

2-3 sprigs tarragon

¼ teaspoon red chili flake

generous pinch salt

generous pinch Old Bay, if desired

pinch pepper

reserved shrimp shells


Place all ingredients into a pot, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Strain the broth and return it to the pot.  Poach your shrimp until just cooked through, about 2-3 minutes depending on the size of the shrimp.  After poaching, place shrimp directly into a zip-top plastic bag that is submerged in ice water, allow to cool completely, then place in the refrigerator until you serve.  Serve with your favorite cocktail sauce or aioli and lemon wedges.


Cocktail Sauce

1 cup Ketchup

1 tablespoon Worcestershire

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

juice of 1/2 lemon


Mix together all ingredients.



Tarragon Garlic Aioli

1 egg yolks

5-6 confit garlic cloves (cooked in oil on low heat until soft, reserve the oil

juice of ½ lemon

1-2 tarragon sprigs, leaves picked, stemmed discarded

1 cup reserved garlic oil for the confit

¼ cup water

salt, to taste


Combine the egg yolks, garlic cloves, lemon juice, water, heavy pinch of salt and tarragon leaves in a deep vessel.  Slowly drizzle in the oil while using an immersion blender to puree the mixture.  Continue adding oil until the mixture is thick and creamy.