Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Perfect Bite: Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

When I think of a versatile bite, shrimp definitely tops the list.  Whether it's shrimp-n-grits, shrimp scampi, classic fried shrimp, shrimp gumbo, or some other favorite preparation, there is seemingly no end to the many interpretations that this succulent ingredient can take on.  In fact, one of the most universal shrimp dishes would have to be the beloved shrimp cocktail.  

Perfect for entertaining and feasting, alike, shrimp cocktail needs no introduction, but my slightly rustic spin just might.  Departing from the traditional preparation, this rendition serves up what we love most about cooking: an easier method (if that's possible!) that's laden with even more flavor possibilities.  Roasted shrimp--served cocktail style--is a delicious revelation that you'll relish again and again.  And when something is this simple and good, why not?

Happy Eating!

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (but with tail intact)
Olive oil
Seasoned salt or kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Garlic powder
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Cocktail sauce
Lemon wedges for serving

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Place shrimp on baking sheet, drizzle with oil and season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic.  Toss together to coat well and roast in heated oven for 5-6 minutes.  Remove shrimp from oven and dress with lemon juice.  Serve warm or at room temperature, accompanied with cocktail sauce for dipping and lemon wedges.  Enjoy!

*Cook's Note: Experiment with different spice and flavor combinations such as paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, or whatever tastes you especially enjoy.  Just remember to go lightly so that the flavors don't overpower the delicate shrimp. 

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