Shrimp Recipes
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Shrimp Cocktail
Shrimp labeled "flash-frozen"-frozen at sea-are fine. If you choose fresh, buy them on the day you plan to use them (they don't keep well); the flesh should smell like salt air and have a firm texture. Avoid shrimp with black spots or a grainy texture.

Preparing. First, shell the shrimp. Hold each shrimp leg side up and peel the shell from the inside curve with your thumbs and forefingers, leaving the tail intact. Next, devein the shrimp. Gently run a paring knife along the center of the outside curve from head to tail, exposing the vein. Use the knife to remove the vein; rinse if necessary.

Cooking. Lemon and a bay leaf give shrimp a subtle flavor. Fill a pan with eight cups of water; add one-half lemon and one bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer ten minutes. Return to a boil and add one pound of shrimp. Cook until bright pink and opaque, about two minutes. Do not overcook.

Cooling. Place a rack over a rimmed baking sheet. With a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to rack. Cover with ice to cool, about five minutes. Avoid using ice baths. They can make shrimp mushy and tasteless.

Storing. Keep cooked shrimp as cold as possible until serving. To store, fill a bowl three quarters of the way with ice. Put shrimp in a resealable plastic bag and place atop ice; cover with ice. Place bowl in refrigerator, replenishing ice as needed. To serve, arrange shrimp on a platter or along the rim of an ice-filled bowl, accompanied by lemon wedges and cocktail sauce or lemon aioli.

Cocktail Sauce
MAKES ONE CUP - 3/4 cup prepared ketchup, 2-1/2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/4 teaspoon hot-pepper sauce.

In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, salt and pepper sauce. Whisk to combine. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.