Although shrimp cocktail is usually served as an appetizer in appetizer-sized portions anyway, this version of the dish is even smaller and more delicate. You could make four regular size shrimp cocktails or ten mini ones with this recipe. If you are looking for an impressive little snack to serve either before your appetizers or between the appetizers and the main dish, these are ideal.
They are served in glasses so all the layers are visible. First you have a layer of iceberg lettuce, then some creamy dressing and finally the shrimp which have been soaked in lime juice. Some recipes call for the shrimp to be tossed with the other ingredients before spooning this mixture over the lettuce, but this way is also charming and keeping the layers separate makes them visually more appealing.
To make the radishes open out, cut into them without cutting all the way through and leave them in a glass of ice water for at least fifteen minutes. Leave them in the water until you are ready to use them. You can either make one or two cuts, or get more creative and make a serious of cuts to make radish roses. Patiently allow the radishes to open out by themselves; if you try to force them with your fingers they will snap.
- 1 ½ lbs medium-size raw shrimp
- 2 large handfuls chopped iceberg lettuce
- 6 halved radishes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon chili powder or paprika
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup minced white onion
- ½ cup lime juice
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup ketchup
- Black pepper, to taste
- Shell and devein the shrimp, removing the tails too.
- Place them in a bowl with ⅓ cup of lime juice and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Drain the shrimp and discard the juice.
- Bring the water and salt to a boil in a pot over a medium heat, then add the shrimp and turn off the heat.
- Let the shrimp poach for 4 minutes or until they are cooked through.
- Remove the shrimp to a bowl and refrigerate.
- In a small bowl combine the onion with the remaining lime juice, ketchup, mayonnaise, black pepper, and cilantro.
- Divide the iceberg lettuce between 12 serving glasses.
- Top with the mayonnaise mixture and finally with the shrimp.
- Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil over the shrimp and sprinkle some chili powder (or paprika if you prefer) on top.
- Add half a radish to each one.
These cute little appetizers are really delicate and special. The iceberg lettuce, shrimp, dressing, and radish layers offer plenty of vibrant color, and you can imagine how flavorful and aromatic these are by reading the recipe and being drawn to the photo. Shrimp cocktail is easy enough for any home cook to manage and you can cook the shrimp in advance and assemble these nearer to serving time. Do not add the dressing early though, else it will turn the lettuce slimy. These little treats will kick off any dinner in style.
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