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Happy Labor Day! If you’re hosting a backyard bash tonight, then I’ve got a perfect appetizer for you that comes together in a snap. Succulent roasted shrimp artfully arranged beside a bowl of fiery cocktail sauce flavored with Sriracha, horseradish, Worcestershire, lemon and fish sauce. If you’ve never roasted shrimp before, I would highly suggest that you to give it a try. Simply dressed in olive oil, salt and pepper, raw shrimp scatter about a parchment-lined baking sheet unsuspectedly enter a blistering hot oven. Mere moments later, the shrimp reemerge tender and blushing with just a kiss of caramelization. You’ll never boil shrimp again. The sauce? Spice-C. Reminiscent of classic cocktail sauce, this brazen accoutrement is a perfect counter to the shrimp’s sweet flesh. Worcestershire and fish sauce provide a savory depth of flavor. Continue reading for the recipe.
If you start with shelled, uncooked shrimp, this appetizer can come together in about 10 minutes. I personally like to buy shrimp with their shells still on. After prepping the shrimp, I place all of the shells in a plastic bag and store in my freezer to make shrimp stock later.
To peel shrimp, start by grabbing all of the legs and pulling them in one direction. This will release the legs and part of the shell. Continue to remove the shell surrounding the shrimp. As you get closer to the tail, pinch the tail where it meets the shell (and flesh beneath), then remove the shell up until the last segment. Keeping the tail on the shrimp allows for easy sauce dipping after the shrimp have cooked. It acts as a little handle.
Once you’ve peeled all of the shrimp, you’ll need to devein them. Run a sharp knife along the back of the shrimp (the side that didn’t have legs) from the tail end to the curved end. You don’t need to insert the knife too far in. Just make a shallow cut. This should reveal the intestinal tract. Using the tip of the knife, scrape out the intestines and discard. If your knife cut broke the intestinal tract, scrape out what you can, then rinse out the rest under cold, running water. The shrimp are now prepped and ready to go!
After just six minutes, over a pound of shrimp are beautifully cooked in the oven. If cocktail sauce isn’t your thing, you can certainly use these shrimp in other recipes. Toss into a hot bowl of lemon linguini or a cool pasta salad. You could also take off the tails, top with shredded cabbage, drizzle with salsa and serve inside a warm corn tortilla. Super easy. Super versatile.
Roasted Shrimp with Spicy Cocktail Sauce
For the roasted shrimp:
- 1 pound large uncooked shrimp (12 to 15 count), peeled, deveined, and tails left on
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the spicy cocktail sauce:
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup Sriracha, a garlic-chili sauce*
- 1 1/2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, toss shrimp with olive oil (about 2 teaspoons) and a sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Spread out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Season with a bit more kosher salt and black pepper.
Bake until the shrimp are firm and blushing (about 6 to 8 minutes). Don't over cook here. Set aside to cool.
While the shrimp are cooling, prepare the cocktail sauce. In a small bowl, add ketchup, Sriracha, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire and fish sauce, stirring until well combined. Taste and add more lemon juice if needed.
To serve, place a small bowl of spicy cocktail sauce on a platter or large plate. Arrange shrimp around the bowl. Garnish with additional lemon wedges if desired.
* I like my cocktail sauce pretty fiery. If you are heat sensitive, start with just a squeeze of Sriracha and add more to taste. You could also substitue in a more mild chili sauce.
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