Shrimp with cocktail sauce is not something I ate growing up. The entire category of shellfish was on my short list of foods that sucked, right there next to tomatoes, ketchup, asparagus, and carrots. I have only a few memories of actually eating shellfish as a kid, and most of them include my dad sneaking tiny shrimp into stews to see if I could detect them.
Clearly, I just didn't understand that shrimp, roasted and tossed with garlic and rosemary is a gift from the sea. (I eventually learned to like everything on that list, aside from ketchup--ugh!).
I've also learned to appreciate a really good cocktail sauce. One that's zesty. One that actually makes the shrimp taste better, instead of masking it. On that does not include--you guessed it-ketchup. Instead it's made with real tomatoes, horseradish, and garlic. A bit of cayenne, and some lemon juice to round it out. When you start putting real ingredients in cocktail sauce, it actually becomes a power food! Did you know that horseradish is considered a cruciferous vegetable? With molecules called glucosinolates, it's been show to help fight cancer. Horseradish has ten times more glucosinlates than broccoli... So dig in already!
The beauty of this recipe is it's flexibility. Sensitive tastebuds? Hold the cayenne. Timid when it comes to garlic? Add a little, taste it, and add some more. It's easy to take this recipe and turn it into you own signature sauce concoction.
Serves: 4 | Total Time:
For the Shrimp:
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 to 1 ounce piece of fresh horseradish
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Cocktail Sauce:
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss the shrimp with the melted oil, minced garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Spread the shrimp out on a cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, until shrimp are pink and cooked through.
- While shrimp cooks, prepare sauce: If you are using a high speed blender, add all of the ingredients and puree until smooth. If you are using a standard blender or food processor, mince the garlic and shred the horseradish with a microplane and then whisk all of the ingredients until combined.
- Serve shrimp warm on a platter alongside a bowl of sauce.