Easy Make-Ahead Shrimp Cocktail

This is such an easy recipe and it really frees up your time so you can enjoy your guests since it can be made ahead of time.

You can either poach your own shrimp or do what I do and buy them precooked.

Then all you have to do is just portion out some commercial bottled cocktail sauce into pretty little glass shot glasses or these disposable ones, add a shrimp with the tail hanging over the edge and a lemon wedge on the rim and/or a pretty snip of fresh dill.  

An even easier presentation is to simply arrange the shrimp on a pretty platter with some sauce in a small bowl and garnish with lemon circles, wedges, dill or fresh parsley.

Keep refrigerated and serve immediately.

11-15 size jumbo pre-cooked shrimp, thawed rinsed and dried very well.

2 Tbsp. cocktail sauce per shot glass

 

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Peel and Eat Brined Grilled Garlic Lemon Shrimp

Peel and Eat Brined Grilled Garlic Lemon Shrimp

Brining is the secret to preparing moist grilled shrimp. Brining keeps the shrimp moist, tender yet firm. These make a great party appetizer or as a luncheon or dinner entrée.

Thread the shrimp on 12 inch flat skewers so they don’t twirl on the skewer.

If you prefer no peel, go ahead and peel the shrimp before you brine.

Ingredients:

FOR THE BRINE:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar

FOR THE MARINADE:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake, or more for spicier

20 jumbo shrimp peeled or unpeeled and deveined (about 1 1/4 lb.) I use Wild Patagonia 16-20 raw, easy peel, shell-on, deveined I purchase at QFC

General Shrimp Brining Directions:

  1. Make the brining solution. For each pound of shrimp, combine 4 cups water, 1/3 cup Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt and 1/3 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together
  2. Soak the shrimp. Place the peeled and deveined shrimp in the brine solution, and allow them to sit untouched for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Drain, dry and cook. Drain the shrimp in a colander and gently pat them dry with paper towels. Proceed with your favorite recipe: pan-fry, grill or saute. The shrimp always turn out moist and delicious.

TO MAKE THE MARINADE: In a medium bowl whisk together the marinade ingredients.

Place the shrimp in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade around all the shrimp, place the bag in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes.

Remove the shrimp from the bag and discard the marinade. Thread the shrimp closely together as shown above onto flat skewers. Grill over *direct medium heat until just opaque in the center and firm to the touch, 4 to 6 minutes, turning the skewers once halfway through grilling time. Remove from the grill and place on a clean plate. Serve warm.

These plates would work perfectly for serving. The skewers are 12 inches and the plates are 14 inches long.

*If you do not have a thermometer, use this method of estimating the heat: Hold your hand about 3 inches above the grill, or at the point where the food will be cooking. Keep your hand there as long as you can and count. If you have to move your hand in less than 4-5 seconds: the fire is medium heat, or about 350°F.

Serving Suggestion: Sweet Chili Brussels Sprouts

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Red Lentil Soup

This soup is a favorite amongst my clients who come to me for weight loss or those who want to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet. It is easy to prepare, nutritious, delicious and freezes well. 

Unless making it for one person (this makes 4 bowls) I suggest DOUBLING the recipe. I always regret it when I don’t! This recipe makes 7 cups.

Another option is to not add the cup of water. Not adding it will of course make it thicker.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  •  Pinch of ground chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cups water (do not add this if you like thick soup)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  •  Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
  • 5 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

 

  1. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder and sauté for 2 minutes longer to intensify the flavor.
  3. Add broth, 1 cup water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 20-25  minutes.
  4. Stir in lemon juice. Stir, taste and add more if necessary. Stir in cilantro.
  5. Taste and add salt if necessary.

 

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