Classic Shrimp Cocktail



Growing up, my mother never taught me how to cook. Because of a big family (7 children), we seemed to more dry peanut butter sandwiches then anything. In 1980, after graduating high school, I met and fell deeply in love with a wonderful older man. He not only taught me patients, love, positive thinking thru actions, he taught me how to cook! The first time he cooked shrimp, I thought it was disgusting; I had never had seafood before hand. Once the shrimp was cooled and sauce was prepared, Ted gave me a shrimp to try; I was reluctant to say the least, after 1 bite, I was hooked!


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5 Min
15 Min
Stove Top


  • 1 1/2 lb
    wild shrimp gulf of mexico, 16-20 ct, or shrimp to you desire
  • 2 stalk(s)
    celery including leaves, cut into thirds
  • 1 1/2 oz
    mccormick® mixed pickling spice (i use 3/4 of container, no... shrimp won't taste 'pickley', i promise you!)
  • 2 large
    bay leaves
  • 2 tsp

How to Make Classic Shrimp Cocktail


  1. * Fill a large pot with 4 quarts water; celery, pickling spice bay leaf, and salt. Cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes.
  2. * Return to a boil and add shrimp. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bright pink and opaque, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes for medium shrimp, 3 minutes for large ones.
    When cooking shrimp, remember the letters "C"; stands for "Cooked" and "O"; stands for "Overcooked".
    When boiled or steamed, shrimp are cooked when they curl to form the letter C. Shrimp will be firm, turn pink, and slightly opaque when cooked properly.
    Shrimp are overcooked when they curl to form the letter O. Don't overcook shrimp. Shrimp will be rubbery, chewy, and eraser-like, they are overcooked.
  3. * Drain shrimp in a colander, discarding the celery and spices.
  4. Place ice over shrimp to quickly shock and stop cooking.
  5. Shrimp Cocktail SuceIn a small bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing well. Chill until ready to serve.

    12 oz. Heinz Chili sauce
    Prepared Horseradish, as desired, I add 7 heaping teaspoons
    Tabasco Sauce, as desired, I add 3 dashes
    1 lemon, cut in half, using juice

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