The problem with those ready made shrimp cocktails that you find in the deli section at the supermarket are two-fold, first, the shrimp. Small, bland, watery — weirdly translucent — they look like a plasticized mold of the real thing. Second – that cocktail sauce. Too sweet, little heat — decidedly un-inspired. For the life of me, I don’t understand people that buy or even worse — serve — that stuff when the real deal is SO MUCH BETTER and so RIDICULOUSLY EASY to make. Grilled Shrimp Cocktail is packed with flavor from the first bite.
The quality of the shrimp make a difference — and fresh is preferred, but if you can only get frozen, make sure to thaw them completely before drying with paper towels. If you’ve got fresh, peel and devein them (method shown above), leaving the last segment and the tail still attached.
Marinate the shrimp in a blend of garlic, lemon or lime zest, olive oil, red pepper flakes and a bit of black pepper. Only 15-20 minutes in this blend will add a ton of finger-licking flavor to the shrimp.
While the seafood rests in the garlicky marinade, make the cocktail sauce. Never made cocktail sauce before? It’s ready in approximately 2 minutes and it’s WAY better than the jarred stuff in the store. Ketchup, horseradish, worcestershire sauce, a squeeze of lemon and a few drops of your favorite hot sauce is all it takes.
The nice thing about making your own is that you can adjust this sauce to your tastes. If you want your sinuses to clear, add more horseradish. If you want more heat, up the hot sauce. More tang? Add lemon. Play with it, until you get it the way you like. Chill the cocktail sauce until you’re ready to eat.
Preheat the grill and add the shrimp skewers.
Shrimp are an immediate gratification seafood. Just a few minutes on the fire and they’re perfectly plump, pink and juicy.
So admit it, this looks a hell of a lot better than those flaccid wheels of shrimp from the grocery store, doesn’t it?
Bathed in garlic, spice and citrus, this grilled shrimp cocktail is way beyond ordinary.
Its delicious hot from the grill but it can also be served chilled — so, if you’re having company, you can make it in advance.
For passable hors d’oeuvres, add a tablespoon or two of the sauce to very small glasses – or even shot glasses and perch a shrimp on the corner. Aren’t they fun? For more seafood appetizers, try these Fancy Baked Sea Scallops or these awesome Conch Fritters.
Grilled Shrimp Cocktail
- 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lime zested
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
For cocktail sauce
- 2/3 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- a few drops of your favorite hot sauce optional
- Special equipment: 10" metal or wooden skewers
- Place shrimp in a medium bowl. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, lime zest and pepper. Toss to coat completely and set for 15-20 minutes to marinate.
- Meanwhile prepare cocktail sauce. In a small bowl combine ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce and hot sauce (if desired). Stir to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Heat grill to medium high heat -- about 400 degrees. Skewer the shrimp through the head end first then through the tail section. Having two entry points will hold the shrimp steady on the skewer. Grill the shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side, or until pink and firm.
- Serve shrimp alongside cocktail sauce.
More Yummy Shrimp Dishes: