The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

11:28 PM

What's on the side? A Slightly Tipsy Shrimp Cocktail

Posted by Magic of Spice

Grilled shrimp Cocktail with 
tomatillo and grape brandied salsa 

These days there are a multitude of cleaver concoctions based on this classic
 appetizer. The origins of this dish seem to be a little muddled, but according to
 this site I ran across while trying to gather more information  Food Timeline
 it appears to date back to the early 20th century United States. Traditionally
 this appetizer consists of cooked peeled shrimp served with a spicy
 ketchup/catsup or tomato based sauce.

I have chosen a salsa based sauce for our cocktail of tomatillo and grape. For a bit of taste-bud tantalizing we through in some French brandy and Cambodian lemongrass curry spice. Cambodian cuisine has a mixed influence of French and Chinese with their curry dishes showing influences from India. So as you can see we are taking quite a cultural culinary tour with this dish…

Along with our shrimp cocktail I served a cheese filled tortilla roll. For my cheese selection I used Midnight Moon, a firm aged goats milk cheese. This is high on my list of favorite cheeses with a smooth mouth feel, hints of salted caramel and prominent nutty brown butter undertones.

What you will need:

For the salsa:
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 small bunch red seedless grapes, halved
6 tomatillos, husked and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 red chili peppers, chopped and seeded
1 shallot, chopped
1 fresh lime, juiced (reserve about 1 tsp for shrimp)
4 tablespoons  French brandy or cognac
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon Cambodian lemongrass curry seasoning
1/2 tablespoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Food processor or blender

For the shrimp:
12 raw colossal shrimp, peeled and veined tail on
1 tablespoon olive oil
Splash of French brandy
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1-2 pinches cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt
1 shallot
4 skewers

For the rolled tortillas:
4 large tortillas
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup midnight moon cheese, grated

Let's get grillin':
Begin preparing your salsa by roughly chopping all produce and placing in a 
large food processor. (If using dry chilies, reconstitute in warm water until soft)
Reserving a few grapes halved to add to processed salsa, if desired.
Slowly add liquids while the processor is on, adding more if needed. Add cumin 
and curry, continuing to blend until fully incorporated. Salt and pepper to taste. 
Set aside stirring occasionally.

Heat grill to 375 degrees f 
Place shrimp in a large bowl along with olive oil, brandy, lime juice, cayenne and salt. 
Toss until shrimp is coated. Alternating between shrimp and shallot, place on skewers.
Place on grill about 4-5 min each side, until shrimps begin to char slightly and are pink.

Now prepare your cheese tortilla rolls by buttering one side of each tortilla 
and place on a sheet of foil. Add 1/4 of cheese to each tortilla and roll.
Place the foil with the tortilla roll onto grill until browned on each 
side and cheese has melted.

Note: If you are unable to obtain the Cambodian lemongrass curry a small amount of 
dry lemon grass ground, ground ginger, lime zest and a mild chili powder will be close.

This recipe was featured on Honest Cooking 

And for more fun on the grill check out these recipes...
Vegan Steaks - Honest Cooking 
Grilled Shrinp with Gulf Coast Flavors - Drick's Rambling Cafe
Grilled Brie and Cibatta - Honest Cooking
Cajun Grilled Rib Eyes - Cajun Delights 

Alisha ~ Magic of Spice

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