Southern Pickled Shrimp ( Adapted from Coastal Living )and tweaked from other recipes I’ve liked – makes 8 to 10 appetizer servings
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, preferably Tellicherry
1 teaspoon whole pink peppercorns, optional but very pretty
2 teaspoons of your choice - fennel seeds, black mustard seeds, or anise seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup good extra-virgin olive oil
6 fresh thyme sprigs
6 – 8 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 cup (or more) small capers, drained well
4 bay leaves
Dash of red pepper flakes if you like it spicy
1 lemon, sliced
2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
Combine first 7 ingredients of the marinade in a large bowl, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in the olive oil and remaining marinade ingredients. Set aside while you cook the shrimp. Place peeled and deveined shrimp in a pot of salted water to cover and bring to boil on the stove over high heat. As soon as the shrimp come to a boil, check to see if they are done. They will turn pink and curl a bit. It will take 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of the shrimp. Taking care not to overcook the shrimp, drain immediately, and add the hot shrimp to the seasonings bowl. By placing the shrimp in the bowl of marinade while they are still hot, it allows the seasonings to penetrate the shrimp. Allow the shrimp mixture to come to room temperature, then cover tightly and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
When ready to serve, transfer shrimp and marinade to a glass serving compote or individual appetizer bowls. Serve slightly chilled. The pickled shrimp can be stored 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally. The flavors will get stronger and more pronounced with time.
Serving suggestions: Pickled shrimp are normally served as an appetizer with toothpicks as picker-uppers or, if you want to be really southern, accompany with buttery Ritz crackers. For a light lunch or dinner, serve the pickled shrimp over baby greens as a salad with a crusty French baguette and a cool glass of crisp white wine.
The table is all set...