Saturday, September 28, 2013

Spiced and Pickled Shrimp

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I love to serve these shrimp to friends at informal gatherings. This dish is one I wish I could claim as my own. I can't. I found the recipe, developed by Peggy Towbridge, at Home Cooking and it's been a favorite of mine ever since. Don't be put off by the ingredient list. Chances are you have everything needed to make these shrimp in your refrigerator or pantry. I've made two slight changes to the original recipe. I think balsamic vinegar muddies the glorious color of this dish, so I've opted to use white wine or white balsamic vinegar instead. I've also added small amounts of red and yellow bell pepper to provide more eye candy in the final presentation. While I've served these shrimp as a first course for an informal dinner, I am more likely to set out bowls of them to entertain a large number of people for cocktails or an open house. When I serve these as finger food, I remove all trace of shell from the shrimp. I know that runs contrary to conventional wisdom, but I hate to see folks trying to balance drinks and plates of discarded shells or toothpicks. Shrimp, once a luxury item, is relatively inexpensive these days. So, you'll be happy to know the recipe can be doubled or tripled for those occasions when you're feeling particularly generous or are feeding the immediate world. I let the shrimp marinate for 24 hours before serving them. Discard uneaten, unrefrigerated shrimp at the end of the evening. The brine used to pickle the shrimp is not strong enough to kill organisms that might developed after the shrimp has been sitting unrefrigerated for several hours. Here's the recipe for a terrific party appetizer.

Spiced and Pickled Shrimp...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite


1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper

1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

Juice of 1 lemon, rinds reserved

2 pounds large or jumbo raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup white balsamic or white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh dill weed, finely chopped OR 2 teaspoons dried

2 cloves garlic, pressed

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or hot sauce to taste

1 small sweet onion, finely sliced

1 small red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced

1 small yellow pepper, cored and thinly sliced

1 small green bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced


1) Combine garlic powder, onion powder, lemon pepper, paprika, and celery seed until mixed.

2) Sprinkle lemon juice over the shrimp, top with the spice mixture, and toss to coat.

3) Place sliced reserved lemon rinds in about 1 inch of water. Cover with a steamer basket. Place spiced shrimp in the basket, cover pot, and gently steam until shrimp is just barely done and opaque, about 2 minutes. Do not overcook or the shrimp will become rubbery. Remove from heat, uncover, and place shrimp in a large bowl of ice to stop cooking.

4) For the marinade, place olive oil, cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, dill weed, garlic, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper flakes or hot sauce in a large heavy bag with a zip top. Squish to thoroughly combine.

5) Add drained shrimp, sweet onion, and bell pepper to the marinade in bag. Seal with air in bag and toss to coat. Open bag, squeeze out air, and re-seal. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve cold. Yield: 12 to 16 appetizer servings.

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