J.D.’s Shrimp Cocktail
The art of cooking is exactly that, an art. It’s not a science and there are no formulas to abide by, just rough amounts of this and that to create a concoction that pleases you and your taste buds. For that reason I use a lot of “about” measurements (e.g.: about one cup / about 10 mins). The only way to truly perfect this recipe or any one for that matter, is to try it once and then do it again and again, adjusting things as you go. Why do you think “grandma’s cooking” is the best? The lady’s had her whole life to perfect it, that’s why. The best advice I can give is to loosen up and don’t take it so seriously. Cooking, to me, is therapeutic and I promise it’s not because of the buzz I acquire from drinking while doing it. My family thinks I’m crazy but I’ve made it my own little tradition to down a 40oz of OE while I throw down. Hashtag “thug life”. Don’t judge me. Just kidding, go ahead and judge me I could give two turtle shits.
There are plenty of shrimp cocktail recipes across the web but I’m gonna get straight to the point and say fuck all those, you gotta try mine. I’m not really a picky eater but there’s just something about your typical shrimp cocktail that doesn’t appeal to me. So, here’s my take and I hope you’ll enjoy.
To help you through the process I take pictures that will hopefully reassure you that you’re on the right track as long as what you have looks at least kinda like what I had. I think this is enough talking now, let’s go!
Here’s what you’ll need:
2 lbs fresh medium sized shrimp (peel and devein them but be sure to KEEP ALL THE HEADS AND SHELLS)
2 cups mirepoix, rough chop ( equal parts white onion, carrots, celery)
1 cup cucumber, small dice
1 cup celery, small dice
1 cup red onion, small dice
1 cup roma tomato, small dice
3/4 cup Mama Bling’s Jalapeño Ketchup (you can substitute another ketchup but I support my locals)
1/4 cup Mama Bling’s Garlic Salsa (again, supporting the locals)
1-3 ripe avocados, small dice (you can never have too much avocado)
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 fresh lime
crackers to eat it all with
REMINDER: What you are about to do is your thing, if you wanna add something else in that you think might be good, then DO THAT SHIT! If you use regular ketchup, add fresh jalapeños to make up for the lost spice. If you don’t want it spicy, don’t add anything spicy, this is ALL YOU! However, if you truly want to try mine you would have to order the sauces I use online because they’re only available from a small distributor here in southeast Houston. I promise they’re worth it though. You can get them exclusively from Chingo Bling’s website www.thecancunlife.com. I promise I wasn’t in any way obligated to push this product. Again, I just support my locals. I was so curious to try them when they came out that I drove to the other side of town for a few bottles and was lickin’ the shit off the back of my hand while weaving through traffic on the way back home. Delicious. Ok, f’real now, here we go…
Heat up a medium sauce pan over high heat for a minute, drizzle in a couple tablespoons of oil and once that heats up, throw in that mirepoix.
Once the onions begin to get a bit translucent, add all those reserved shrimp heads/shells (trust me on this, whiskers and all, it don’t even matter)
Keep all that shit movin’ over high heat for about 5 minutes. Go ahead and pour in about 2-3 cups of water and let that come to a boil (I like to throw in a bay leaf, too).
Transfer all that stuff into a blender but remember what happens when you blend hot stuff…so don’t fuck yourself up and make a mess in the process. Be careful!
Let the blender run for a minute or two to liquify it well.
At this point it should basically look like a smoothie. Bet you can’t get someone to drink it…in other words, that’s a challenge. If you manage to get some chump to do it, put it on instagram and tag me (@HTXJD) along with the hashtag #theyactuallydrankthatshit. I’d love to see it.
While they’re throwing up, direct your attention back to this recipe, you ain’t done yet. Get you a strainer, the finer the mesh, the better. Put it over your sauce pan and pour the mix back into the pan, helping it seep through by tapping the side of the strainer with the palm of your hand. You may need to do this small bits at a time depending on the size strainer you have.
What you’ll end up with at the end is a bunch of grit which is all that shrimp scrap and whatnot. You don’t want that shit in your mouth, that’s what made your homeboy back there throw up. Dispose of it well, preferably in something that’s air tight because if it’s just sitting in your trash can, it’s gonna start to smell bad pretty quick.
At this point you should have a nice, silky lookin’ sauce that already has some great flavor considering all you’ve used so far is a little bit of some vegetables and what would have been trash to you any other time you cook shrimp.
Keep this over low heat and let it simmer while you adjust the seasoning. This is where I add Mama Bling’s sauces along with a little salt and pepper (garlic salt to be exact).
Once you have the flavor where you want it, throw in all that shrimp you peeled and deveined earlier. That’s right, it’s gonna cook in all that goodness you just whipped up.
If you’ve cooked shrimp before then you know they cook really quick. Give them just a few minutes then go ahead and remove them with a slotted spoon. *Only remove them if you want to chop them into smaller pieces, otherwise, just leave them in.
We’re almost finished. Transfer your sauce into a large mixing bowl that will fit all the rest of those ingredients you have.
Throw all that shit in your mixing bowl. All of it. Stir it all up real nice.
Now you can add your fresh herb(s). Throw in your chopped cilantro and personally, I like adding some fresh thyme leaves, too. Squeeze your lime’s juice into the mix as well. If you’re lime didn’t yield too much juice, use the whole thing or more instead of just the 1/2 that my recipe called for. Again, this is all you.
That’s it! You’re done. It tastes delicious while hot but let it cool and sit in the fridge for at least a few hours if not overnight and that shit will be 10x better. Serve chilled with your favorite crackers and pat yourself on the back, you just made some gourmet shit.
If you have any questions about anything at all, hit me up on here or on Instagram (@HTXJD). Special thanks to Mama Bling for her amazing sauces which I will be using for more recipes coming soon.
Hope you enjoyed this little recipe/tutorial, share it with a friend. Now that I’m done with culinary school I have a lot more time to focus on blogging so you’ll be hearing from me more.
Shout out to my city H-Town and the rest of y’all readin’ this. Stay tuned…