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Chilled Shrimp with Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce

Updated February 23, 2016
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This image courtesy of JosephDeLeo.cookstr.com

In their college days, Carla and her friends would concoct a version of these amazing Bloody Marys on springtime Sunday afternoons. Lots of pepper, lime, Tabasco, Worcesteshire, and the ubiquitous celery all play supporting roles to the bloody part of the Mary: the tomato. Instead of using tomato juice, which can be loaded with sodium, we are using the most flavorful canned tomatoes you can buy and blending them up to create a thicker sauce.

Make-ahead: The sauce can be made 24 hours in advance and kept, covered, in the refrigerator.

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionBuffet, Cocktail Party

Recipe Coursehors d'oeuvre

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturehot & spicy, salty, savory, spiced

Ingredients

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 lime, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound medium shrimp (31 to 35 per pound) in the shell thawed if frozen
  • One 14½-ounce can Italian San Marzano whole tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup finely diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco or hot pepper sauce, or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Celery stalks with leaves attached, cut into 4-inch lengths, for garnish

Instructions

In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Squeeze in the juice of the lime and then add the squeezed lime to the water, along with the salt. When the water comes back to a boil, add the shrimp in their shells. Cover the saucepan with a lid and remove it from the heat. Let the shrimp sit in the covered pan for 3 minutes. They will cook perfectly. When they are opaque, drain them and plunge them into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Peel the shrimp when they are cool enough to handle, and keep them in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.

Add the whole tomatoes and their juice to a food processor work bowl and process to a smooth sauce consistency, about 10 seconds. Pour into a large bowl and add the lime juice, celery, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, Tabasco, salt, and pepper. Taste the sauce for seasoning and add more of whatever you like, if desired. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to let the flavors develop.

To assemble, toss the chilled shrimp with the sauce. Add the cilantro, if using. Arrange the shrimp and sauce in large martini or margarita glasses, and garnish with the celery stalks. Serve cold.

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