I love boiled shrimp because they are delicious and super easy to make as an appetizer or as a main course. All you need is fresh shrimp with the shells on, a couple other ingredients, and a few minutes. That’s it! So easy. I like to make them with the heads on, but if those are not available, then headless are also okay (as pictured here).
When my family lived on the Gulf Coast in Florida we ate boiled shrimp at least once a week. It was, and still is, a family favorite. I have so many great memories of dinners around the kitchen table with a giant platter of shrimp, a bowl of roasted new potatoes, a huge salad, and fresh french bread. Dinners that included boiled shrimp always lasted a lot longer than normal meals because everyone was peeling shrimp and eating them as they went. It was in those moments, over a big platter of steaming hot shrimp, that we really connected as a family.
Now, about that cocktail sauce. I don’t use store-bought cocktail sauce. The taste is subpar and they usually contain at least one sketchy ingredient (i.e. GMO corn syrup). I like to make my own. That way, I know what’s in it and I can make it exactly how I like it: tangy, salty, slightly sweet, and with a little kick.
I’ve been making my own cocktail sauce since I was a kid, so I’ve got it down to a science at this point. Truth be told though, I never measure my ingredients when I make cocktail sauce. In fact, that is actually true for most of my cooking. I’ve found when I trust my instincts things usually turn out better. The only problem is that that makes it kinda difficult to share my recipes with y’all! Oops!
Now that I’ve finally written my cocktail sauce recipe down and tested it a bunch of times, I can say that this is IT. THE BEST cocktail sauce you’ve ever tasted. Okay, okay, I know everyone has their own particular tastes, so mine might not be perfect for you. But it’s a great start if you’ve never made cocktail sauce from scratch before. After you make it just adjust to your own taste! This recipe makes a mildly spicy version, that seems to be fairly suitable for all tastes. It is a hit with my family and friends!
Now grab your friends and family and get some water boilin’ ’cause it’s time for some shrimp!
- 6 cups water
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1 lb shrimp (fresh, shell on)
- ½ cup organic ketchup
- 1 Tbsp prepared horseradish
- 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- ½ Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp Tabasco
- Add water, vinegar, garlic, and Old Bay to a large stockpot.
- Boil over high heat.
- When the water reaches a rolling boil, add the shrimp and stir.
- After approximately 3 min the shrimp should be done. When they are done they are completely opaque, have a pink/peach color to them, and the tails are curled up.
- As soon as they look done, pour them into a strainer to drain off the water.
- Now you can either serve immediately OR dunk them into an ice bath to stop the cooking and chill if you are serving as a shrimp cocktail appetizer.
- Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.
- Adjust to taste.
How did your cocktail sauce turn out? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments! 🙂