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Dec 20, 2018

Herb and Wine Poached Shrimp with Homemade Cocktail Sauce

This Herb and Wine Poached Shrimp with Homemade Cocktail Sauce is perfect for entertaining and super easy to make.

Herb Poached Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce #shrimp #shrimpcocktail

This shrimp cocktail is a little more work than setting out precooked shrimp with bottled cocktail sauce, but it's almost as easy.

Friends, I am not judging placing a prepared shrimp cocktail platter from your favorite grocery store on your appetizer table. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it. However, you must try this at least once. Plus, as a bonus, you get the most amazing seafood broth to use later.

To make the poaching liquid, you begin by peeling raw shrimp and simmering the shells in water for about 20 minutes. If you haven't tried making seafood broth from shrimp shells, you are in for a big treat.

In fact, I've started buying raw shrimp with the shell on whenever possible so I can freeze the shells to make broth later.

Herb and Wine Poached Shrimp with Homemade Cocktail Sauce #shrimp #shrimpcocktail

For the shrimp, I used frozen raw jumbo Argentinian/Antarctic shrimp that has been deveined. It's really easy to peel once you've defrosted it. You can leave the tails on the shrimp or not, it's up to you.

Once you've extracted all of the shrimp goodness from the shells, you add wine, peppercorns, coriander, a bay leaf, some parsley and tarragon, and a bit of lemon juice and then poach the raw shrimp.

After poaching the shrimp, do not discard the poaching liquid! First, taste it so you will understand what I am talking about! I froze mine and can't wait to use it soon in a soup or stew. It's liquid gold.

Update: I used it for a delicious cod chowder. It was really hard to share.

The homemade cocktail sauce is super easy. All you do is mix some ketchup, horseradish, salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne, and lemon juice ... all ingredients most of us have in our pantries and refrigerators. It's so good!

Herb and wine Poached Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce

This month the Fish Friday Foodies are making seafood dishes for entertaining. There are lots of wonderful sounding appetizers this month. Thanks to Sue of Palatable Pastime for coming up with such a great theme.

Now that Christmas and New Year's Eve are fast approaching (or any cocktail party), be sure to check out the rest of the Fish Friday recipes.

shrimp, shrimp cocktail, cocktail sauce, herbs, seafood
Appetizer, seafood
Yield: 4 servings

Herb and Wine Poached Shrimp with Homemade Cocktail Sauce


Poached Shrimp
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, shells reserved
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Handful of fresh parsley leaves and stems
  • 1 tablespoon of dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Homemade Cocktail Sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 heaping teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


For the Shrimp
  1. Bring the shells, 3 cups of water, and the salt to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Press on the shells to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the shells. 
  2. In a medium saucepan, add the stock, wine, peppercorns, coriander, bay leaf, parsley, tarragon, and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, let it cook for 2 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the peeled shrimp. Cover the pan and let stand for 10 minutes, until opaque and firm. 
  3. Drain the shrimp and place them into ice water to stop them from cooking. As mentioned above, be sure to save and  freeze the stock to use later. 
  4. Serve with the cocktail sauce.
For the Cocktail Sauce
  1. Mix all of the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve. 
This recipe was adapted from America's Test Kitchen, membership required, which I highly recommend.

Would you like to comment?

  1. I love the tip about buying shell-on shrimp to save for making stock later! There's nothing quite like homemade stocks. This recipe is beautiful!

  2. Great tips in this article Karen and nothing is better than shrimp cocktail. Merry Christmas.

  3. This looks great, I love the idea of herb and wine poaching the shrimp. Perfect for a party!

  4. I love the wine used in poaching the shrimp, a perfect party pleaser!


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