I love shrimp cocktail, but rarely order it in a restaurant because it’s so expensive (and you get so few shrimp). It couldn’t be simpler at home. I thaw cooked shrimp in cold water, and I mix up some cocktail sauce (or your could buy bottled cocktail sauce).
ketchup (about 1/4 cup per person)
prepared horseradish (about a 1/2 to full tsp per person – or to taste)
optional (dash or sprinkle of any or all: worcesteshire sauce, lemon or lime juice, cayenne pepper, minced onion).
As I said, I rarely order shrimp cocktail in a restaurant, but several years ago I ordered the shrimp cocktail (Coctel de Camaron) in a mexican restaurant as an appetizer (it was in the appetizer section). It came in three sizes, and since in my experience, a shrimp cocktail had maybe 5 pieces of shrimp, I ordered the medium.
When my “appetizer” arrived, it was served in a brandy snifter the size of a small aquarium. It was essentially shrimp served in what seemed like a chunky blend of tomato juice and pico de gallo, almost like a gazpacho-like sauce (I don’t like gazpacho, but this was awesome). Not only did I not have room for the main course, I didn’t finish the appetizer (I ate all of the shrimp of course, but left much of the liquid and some of the chunks of avocado behind).
It was so, so very good that I had to learn to make it at home. At the end of this post I’ve added an online recipe and then my own guessipe (my pet name for recipes without precise quantities – handful of this and pinch of that).
If you decide to order it in a restaurant, learn from my mistake, before ordering, ask about the sizes. Some restaurants serve reasonable portions and others serve gargantuan aquarium bowls. (I’ve never found a restaurant that served what I would consider small portions of this stuff).
If you’re not going to eat much of the cold soup/sauce or aren’t going to eat any of the saltine crackers served with, you will probably want to order one size larger than you think you’ll want).
If you want to make it at home, here’s a recipe and my guessipe
Kaplod’s Cotel de Camaron
The amounts of ingredients aren’t really that important.
about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of
chopped green onion, small handful
chopped bell pepper and/or cucumber
chopped tomato (seeds and soft center removed – just the firm parts)
salsa of your choice, about 2/3 to 1 cup
(Ideally I like to use a fresh salsa or pico de gallo, but in a pinch I’ll use Pace. Often fresh salsa eliminates the need for the onion, tomato, and cilantro).
finely chopped cilantro, couple tablespoons
avocado diced in small cubes (optional, If I use it, I only use a little bit of avocado)
cooked shrimp, about a cup
tomato juice (to thin the salsa to your taste – optional)
little squeeze of lime (I don’t use if I don’t have it)
pinch of sweetener if the salsa is too tart (optional)
Just mix everything together (sometimes I don’t thaw the shrimp, I just put them in the salsa the night before and let them thaw and marinate in the salsa – but don’t add the fresh ingredients till right before I’m ready to eat it)