Once upon a time, many years ago, I was married to a man from Louisiana. And it was important to me to master some of the recipes from that region to satisfy him. And impress his mother. You might feel me, right?
Suffice it to say that while the marriage was a bust, this recipe was a hit. And it has been a drool-worthy appetizer at every brunch I’ve hosted since. I’ll admit I’ve eaten it for breakfast a few times, chased with mineral water or iced green tea and it was perfect.
When you’re in the mood for something special but don’t feel much like cooking, this is easy to whip up with chilled steamed shrimp you can pick up at the grocery store. I prefer to cook my own because I’m not a fan of overcooked shrimp (rubber!), but in a pinch…I’ll grab what the fishmonger has and go to town.
The tangy sauce comes together quickly, as it’s made with kitchen staples and just a few fresh ingredients. If you are preparing for a party, make this a day ahead and store it in a glass container in the refrigerator overnight so all the flavors come together. Cook the shrimp and store separately, combining before serving.
You can easily adjust shrimp size and seasonings to your preference; my suggestions are just a starting point and have proven to be a good middle ground for all kinds of palates.
2 lbs medium to large shrimp
1.5 cups high quality mayonnaise (see notes)
½ cup Creole mustard or coarse country-style Dijon mustard
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1T Worcestershire sauce
1.5 tsp fresh lemon juice
½ c scallions, minced
¼ c celery stalks, minced
¼ c parsley leaves, chopped fine
Tender greens such as Bibb or butter lettuce (optional)
- Make the dressing
Clean and mince the scallions, parsley, and celery (smaller is better). Juice the lemon. In a glass bowl, whisk the mayo and mustard until smooth. Add the Tabasco, Worcestershire, and lemon juice. Mix in the vegetables. Taste and adjust seasonings. Chill overnight if there’s time. If not, it’s still great!
- Blanch the shrimp
In a stock pot, bring 2-3 quarts of filtered water to a boil. While the water heats up, rinse your shrimp, leaving the shells intact to protect their flavor. Prepare a colander in the sink and a large bowl with a few cups of ice cubes in it. When the water is boiling, add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes, until they are pink and barely opaque in the center. Pull the pot off the stove and pour into the colander to drain the shrimp. Put the shrimp into the bowl with ice and add some cold filtered water, enough to cover the shrimp. Soak for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process. When the shrimp are fairly cool to the touch,drain and store covered in the refrigerator.
- Combine and serve
Remove the shells from the chilled shrimp, leaving them whole. Toss with the dressing. The shrimp can rest on a bed of greens on a platter or be portioned into their own dishes with or without greens.
Ca c’est bon, chere!
NOTES: Try to avoid mayonnaise made with industrialized oils such as canola or soybean oil. Read the label; even those “olive oil” mayos often have other oils lurking. I use and recommend Primal Kitchen (avocado oil-based mayo).