- Course: Appetizer, Hors D'oeuvre
- Skill Level: Moderate
- Cost: Moderate
- Favorited: 1 Time
Can be made ahead of time.
Historically, shrimp were pickled in spicy marinades as a kind of conserve, but today they are relished more for their flavor than shelf life. At receptions and cocktail parties, Savannah hosts serve them from heirloom silver bowls imbedded in crushed ice. They’re also enjoyed on beds of crisp lettuce as a first course for sit-down dinners and as a refreshing summer luncheon or supper entree.
1. Put 3 quarts of water in a large stainless steel or enameled pot. Add half the boiling spice, 1 bay leaf, 3 garlic cloves, the sliced celery, and a small handful of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer 10 minutes. Raise the heat, add the shrimp, cover, and count 2 minutes. Drain well, rinse under cold running water, and then peel and devein the shrimp.
2. Bring the vinegar, onions, and remaining bay leaf, spices, and garlic to a full boil in a saucepan over medium high heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let it cool slightly and pour it over the shrimp. Mix in the lemon zest and juice the lemon into it through a strainer. Toss well and let cool completely. Cover and marinate, refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and as long as 24 hours. They will actually keep for up to 2 weeks, refrigerated.
3. To serve, lift the shrimp from the marinade. If you like, you may dress them lightly with a few spoonfuls of olive oil to taste. Line a platter or shallow serving bowl with lettuce leaves. Mound the shrimp on top of them and garnish with sliced lemon and parsley.
Seafood Boiling Spice (Makes about ¾ cup)
For the last century, seafood boiling spice has been an indispensable ingredient in the pantry of most Savannah cooks, not merely for boiling seafood, but as a key seasoning for any shellfish, poultry, egg, and vegetable dishes. The two most widely used brands are the original, Old Bay Seasoning, and Old Savannah Spice Company’s Seafood Seasoning. If you have trouble finding them, both are available online (www.mccormick.com and www.oldsavannahspice.com). Failing that, here’s a blend you can mix at home.
2 tablespoons celery seeds
2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons crumbled bay leaves
2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon powdered mace
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 tablespoons salt
1. Put the celery and mustard seeds, peppercorns, bay leaves, coriander, and allspice in a blender or electric spice mill. Grind them to a coarse powder. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to mix.
2. Store in an airtight tin or jar.
Nutritional information is based on 12 servings, and does not include optional olive oil.