I have no idea where my grandmother Achenbach found this recipe, but it is an ongoing tradition during the Holidays at our house. Even though she lived in Land locked Kansas, she was a real shrimp lover. I made a batch for Thanksgiving this year and decided that it should become a tradition in other families too. I hope you will try it.
1Wash and chop celery, place in medium mixing bowl. Very finely mince the onion product of your choice and add to bowl. Sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp salt and mix well. Set aside for 10 to 20 minutes.
2While waiting, prepare shrimp.
I USE "COCKTAIL" SHRIMP THAT ARE ABOUT 20-35 TO THE POUND. IF YOU WISH, YOU CAN USE SMALLER SHRIMP AND LEAVE THEM WHOLE OR CUT IN HALF.
Make sure there are no shell or tail remnants in the shrimp and chop each cocktail shrimp into about 3 pieces. Set aside
Coarsely chop the pecans and reserve in a small bowl until serving.
3After 10 -20 minutes, drain the chopped celery well through a fine strainer, discarding water which has accumulated. Replace celery into the bowl which you have dried with a paper towel.
4Zest the lemon and add 1 tsp. to the bowl. Squeeze juice of half the lemon into the bowl. Add the mayonnaise and mix well. Add chopped shrimp and salt and /or pepper to taste. Mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This tastes better if allowed to meld for a couple of hours, but can be eaten immediately. If more water accumulates, carefully drain off excess and add a little more mayo if needed.
5Stir in the all but a couple of tablespoons of the pecans when ready to serve, decorate with celery leaves and top with a few pecans.