The party season is upon us again, and I've found a fine shrimp recipe for an appetizer buffet or even a first course. Pickled shrimp is a old Southern thing - if you find the word "pickled" a little too much, feel free to call them marinated, because that's what you'll be doing during their overnight refrigeration. Like all such recipes, it's easy to monkey around with it a little.
Among the ingredients is pickling spice. It's a commercial mixture that a number of companies make; I found it at Schnucks with the other spices. The components are very coarse, peppercorns and whole cloves and such. You may, before you set the shrimp out for guests, wish to go through the batch and shake the larger bits off each shrimp as you place it in a serving dish. As I did that, I also drained most of the pickling vinaigrette.
Bob's Seafood had 26/30 shrimp - that phrase talks about approximately how many of them make up a pound, and that translates to reasonably large, but you may use whatever's available, smaller meaning more work shelling them and larger more expensive. While I seldom de-vein shrimp, I did here, giving more surface for the pickling liquid to penetrate.
2 lbs. shrimp
2 small onions, thinly sliced
1 lemon, washed and the middle section thinly sliced and seeded
2 Tbs. capers
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup tarragon vinegar
2 Tbs. pickling spices
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
(optional 1/4 c. chopped parsley)
Peel and, if you choose, devein the shrimp. Cook in boiling water 3-5 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water.
Layer the shrimp, onions, capers and lemon slices in a container. Whisk together remaining ingredients except the parsley, and pour over the shrimp. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours or so, stirring occasionally.
Drain mixture, shake off coarse spices as noted above, stir in parsley and serve.
Yield: About 5 cups, serves 8 or so, but with shrimp in particular, you never know, do you?