Shrimp Parfait

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

I love the simple, sweet tomato shrimp cocktails you find a good Mexican restaurants, and I adore fresh tomatillo salsa. This is a surprisingly vibrant combination of those two flavors and makes for a beautiful presentation.

Feel free to add embellishments like sour cream, more diced onions or tortilla chips.


Cooking Methodgrilling, poaching



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursecold appetizer

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

Equipmentfood processor, grill



Taste and Textureherby, hot & spicy, juicy, savory, tangy


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • ½ cup organic ketchup
  • ½ cup vidalia onions
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  • 4-5 tomatillos
  • 1 clove garlic, rough chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • ¼ cup cilantro, roughly torn
  • Dollop of sour cream, to garnish


Add the water, shrimp, bay leaves, peppercorns, and fennel seed to a heavy pot. Poach the shrimp on low heat (make sure the water never reaches a boil) until they just turn pink and opaque. Drain the shrimp and shock them in a bowl of ice water. When they’re nice and chilled, drain them again and rough chop the shrimp into bite size pieces. Divide the chopped shrimp into two equal piles.

For Red Sauce: In a bowl mix ketchup, onions, a splash of water, and half the shrimp together. Add a splash of hot sauce if desired.

For Green Sauce: Grill the tomatillos and the jalapeno for about 2-3 minutes, turning frequently. You want the tomatillos to get a little soft and squishy. In a food processor, pulse the tomatillos, garlic, and jalapeno together until they’re thoroughly pureed. Add the lime juice and cilantro then blend for another 10 seconds or so. Remove from the processor and add the remaining shrimp.

Keep everything nice and chilled until you’re ready to assemble the parfaits. When you’re ready to serve, simply alternate layers of the green and red cocktails.



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