Seafood (Part 1)

JoAnn Merenda July 10, 2023
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Poached Shrimp Cocktail

Serves 4

  • 1 pound uncooked jumbo shrimp, shell, and tail on deveined.
  • 1-quart court bouillon (recipe to follow).
  • ⅔ cup cocktail sauce (recipe to follow).

Court Bouillon

  • 1-quart water.
  • 1 cup white wine.
  • 1 medium onion.
  • 1 medium carrot.
  • 2 ribs celery.
  • 1 bay leaf.
  • Pinch peppercorns, crushed.
  • Pinch-dried thyme.
  • 4 parsley stems.
  • 1 lemon, halved.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.

Cocktail Sauce

  • ½ cup ketchup.
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste.
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish.
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce.
  • ½ teaspoon Crystal hot sauce.
  • Pinch black pepper.
In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients for the court bouillon. Bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes. Strain off any solids and return the liquid to the saucepan. Check and maintain the temperature between 125 to 135 degrees F for poaching.
Lower shrimp into prepared court bouillon and poach shrimp until just cooked, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Remove shrimp from the liquid and let cool to the touch, then remove the peel. Chill shrimp for service.
In a blender or glass measuring cup, combine all ingredients for the cocktail sauce. Using an immersion or stand blender, puree all the ingredients. Taste and season with additional pepper or hot sauce to your desired tastes.

Save It for Later

Retain the prepared court bouillon for future seafood poaching needs or as stock for soups. Will hold for 5 days under refrigeration.
Recipe and Photograph by Kristel Matousek |

Lox Crostini

Makes 24

  • 1 rustic French baguette.
  • Olive oil, as needed.
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) whipped caper cream cheese (recipe to follow).
  • 1 pound salt-cured salmon, thinly sliced (recipe to follow).
  • Black sesame seeds and fresh dill, for garnish.

Salt-Cured Salmon

  • 1 pound salmon fillet, skin on.
  • 2 ounces of sea salt.
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper, ground.
  • 0.5 ounce fresh dill, roughly chopped.
  • 1-ounce vodka (optional).

Whipped Caper Cream Cheese

  • 4 ounces of cream cheese.
  • 1 tablespoon minced green onions.
  • 2 teaspoons minced nonpareil capers.
  • ¼ cup whole milk.
Check the salmon for any bones and remove them if needed.
Mix salt and white pepper together in a bowl, then sprinkle half the mixture onto a plastic wrap–lined plate or baking dish. Place salmon skin-side down on a plate, in the mixture. Cover the flesh of the salmon with the remaining salt mixture and sprinkle with dill and vodka.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Remove from the refrigerator after 24 hours. Flip the filet and refrigerate for an additional 24 hours.
After a combined total of 48 hours of refrigeration, remove the salmon from the refrigerator, drain the accumulated liquid, then rinse the curing mixture off the fish. Pat dry with a paper towel. Keep chilled for service.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Whip together the cream cheese with minced green onions and capers. Slowly add milk until fully incorporated to produce a creamy, non-lumpy final product.
Slice the baguette into ½-inch thick slices, brush with olive oil, and place on a baking sheet. Toast in preheated oven until slightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool fully before spreading the prepared cream cheese mixture over the surface of the toasted baguette slice.
Cut thin slices from the flesh surface of cured salmon. Place a slice of lox on top of the cream cheese–layered crostini. Garnish with sesame seeds and fresh dill, and serve.
Recipe and Photograph by Kristel Matousek |

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