Make Ahead Monday: Shrimp Cocktail

It’s that time of the week again.  Yup – Make Ahead Monday!  So use that little Mr. Linky widget thingy down at the bottom and link up your recipes – any recipe, past or present – that can be made ahead!

We threw our annual holiday party on Saturday; I still am not recovered (Beloved’s Christmas Cosmopolitans are tasty, sneaky things).  But what, you may ask, has that got to do with Make Ahead Monday?

Well, I’ll tell you.

I made a butt-load of party food this weekend – mostly on Saturday.  I meant to make some on Friday but got caught at the office much longer than I anticipated (1 hour turned into over 3) and we spent so much time running errands (mostly to buy food) that afternoon that I barely had any time to cook anything the day before.  I regret that.  Mostly because I started cooking at 7 a.m. Saturday morning and didn’t stop until 15 minutes before our guests arrived, which barely gave me enough time to change into something that wasn’t covered in almond flour, goat cheese and homemade ketchup.

This particular dish should be made the day before you serve it, for a couple of reasons.  It really needs to be well-chilled and the cocktail sauce benefits greatly from resting and chilling for a period of time to allow the flavors to meld.  Also, it seems every recipe on the planet for cocktail sauce calls for bottled chili sauce – why is that?  All I know is I’ve never bought a bottle of chili sauce (which, perversely, has no chili in it – it’s just a really sweet kind of ketchup), and I’m not about to start now.  So I had to make it before I could make the cocktail sauce.

See why this qualified for Make Ahead Monday?

Chili Sauce

Chili Sauce

makes 12 two-tablespoon servings, or 1 1/2 cups sauce

1 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup raw honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dehydrated onion
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Whisk all of the ingredients in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened.

Cool to room temperature; cover and chill.

Nutrition (per serving): 37 calories, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 301.5mg sodium, 81.5mg potassium, 9.6g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 9.1g sugar, <1g protein.

I have to tell you that I was quite pleased with the way the chili sauce came out; I can’t vouch that it tastes just like the stuff in the bottle at the store, although the author of the original recipe (which I transformed with real food ingredients) assures us  it does.  It certainly looks just like the bottled stuff and is pretty tasty, too (if you like really sweet ketchup).

I also have to tell you that the finished recipe – the cocktail sauce – is one of the best I’ve ever eaten.  It’s certainly better than anything you can purchase at the grocery store, and my guests must have agreed because the sauce in the shot glass in the photo was all that was left of a recipe that made over a cup of sauce.

Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp Cocktail

serves 6

Kosher salt
2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and veined (about 30)
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Generously salt 4 quarts water in a large stock pot; bring to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook, in batches if necessary, uncovered for 3 minutes, until the shrimp are just cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water. Keep cold until ready to serve.

For the cocktail sauce, combine the chili sauce, ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco sauce. Serve with the shrimp.

Nutrition (per serving): 156 calories, 1.7g total fat, 190.5mg cholesterol, 1308.5mg sodium, 325.4mg potassium, 13.8g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 11.3g sugar, 21.2g protein.

Printable version of both recipes (requires Adobe Reader

17 thoughts on “Make Ahead Monday: Shrimp Cocktail”

    1. Oh, most definitely! It would be good with crab, oysters (if I ate the nasty little buggers) or just about any shellfish – or reasonable facsimile thereof – that can be served cold. In fact, it would probably be quite tasty with something fried, like a crab cake.

  1. I’m a sucker for cocktail shrimp! …though something tells me I should stay away from that store-bought cocktail sauce. This is a great alternative, Jan.
    I linked up one of my recipes for your Make-Ahead Monday. It’s a Beef and Pumpkin Stew that reheats beautifully–actually, I find it tastes better the next day or so.

    1. Alex, I haven’t gotten a chance to say how much I appreciate you linking your recipe – and how much I LOVE the beautiful illustrations that accompany your mouth-watering recipes!

      Thank you for both!

  2. I think the freshly ground horseradish was critical to the unbelievable taste of this cocktail sauce. Great tang and kick without over doing it. THAT is talent.

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