Entertaining: Easy Appetizers – Garlicky Roasted Shrimp Cocktail with Butter, Parsley and Red Pepper Flakes
There are a few dishes that will never go out of style, like shrimp cocktail. This great seafood/spicy tomato-based dunking sauce combo has been an American favorite since the 19th century and particularly popular during the Prohibition era, where the clever abstainers repurposed their beloved martini glasses as shrimp “cocktail” servers. That was some serious cutting-edge food styling back in the day, if you ask me.
So, how in the world do you improve on a classic like shrimp cocktail? You roast the shrimp! Forget the boiling water and preheat your oven for the best version you’ve ever had. And remember to leave those little tails on for a jaunty handle that makes it easy for your guests to pick up. Serve with good cocktail and tartar sauce (preferably homemade or organic since almost all store brands are made with high fructose corn syrup!) and some breadcrumbs (panko is my favorite) that have been toasted in a little butter in a skillet – it gives the sauce-drenched crustacean a nice crunch.
This is one fabulous appetizer that is easy, always impressive, always elegant party food and, at least at my house, always devoured.
In a bowl, toss together:
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined, leaving tails intact
several glugs extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
red pepper flakes, to taste
Place the shrimp in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast in a 400 degree oven until just pink and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle over some minced parsley and serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 6 to 8
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