Welcome To My Gluten Free Website!

Welcome To My Website!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Succulent Fresh Shrimp Cocktails  

I have been craving really good seafood lately. My hubby Greg took the three of us to lunch yesterday to nice little Italian restaurant called Nello's. Christopher had the Chicken Paillard served with Baby Greens with a Lemon Dressing, Greg had Blackened Swordfish with a Salsa Mix on top served with Roasted Vegetables, and then me? Ohhh, I had Calamari Steaks with Gluten Free Pasta - all lightly dressed with a piquant Lemon, Garlic, Caper Sauce. I was in heaven!

Even though there's no gluten in seafood, I am still writing about it here since the treatments like breading, or coatings might still do. Of course I asked about it first, but not all restaurant chefs/cooks understand or even care about having a station totally dedicated to gluten free preparation standards. We who are needing it to be completely free of all traces and even hints of gluten are very serious about the subject. It's impossible for our food choices to be free of gluten if a wheat bread sandwich was just made and served and then our food was made on the same surface with the contaminated knives, food products, and serve-ware. 

So in that frame of mind, I allowed myself to enjoy my gluten free calamari steak dish with complete abandon! Now it's your turn:

Gluten Free Succulent Fresh Shrimp Cocktails
Serves 3-4 as main meal dish, 8-10 as a side dish, 12-15 appetizer/shot sized

1 lb. shrimp, deveined and cleaned of all shell including the tail shell
2 quarts rapidly boiling water
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 quarts cold water
4-6 cups ice

1  - 12 oz. bottle of "chili sauce" or seafood cocktail sauce
3/4 cup cold water
1 cup white wine, I used Oak Leaf Sauvingnon Blanc - optional, you could try white grape juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup hothouse cucumber, deseeded and diced very small
4-6 inner most hearts of celery stalks, minced fine
2 green onions, sliced very thin
1 large avocado, diced in 1/2 pieces - optional
dashes of Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce - optional

1. After completely cleaning the shrimp, drop them all at once into the boiling water and then turn the heat off imeadiately. Stir them around a couple of times and let the heat of the water cook them for about five minutes max. You really want to watch the color. They will turn pink, the opaque flesh will turn white, and they will have closed into a "C" shape. Using the residual heat from the freshly boiled water prevents them from becoming rubbery which happens when they are boiled continuously. 
2. While they are residual heat cooking, fill a large pot with 2 quarts cold water and add the ice. Once the shrimp are cooked remove them with a slotted spoon directly into the ice bath. This shocks them and prevents them from cooking any further. The longer they cook, the more rubbery and "mealy" textured they'll become, and to me - they just aren't worth eating then. Let them completely cool in the ice bath while you finish preparing the vegetables and sauce.
3. In a large bowl combine the chili sauce, cold water, white wine, and lemon juice, stir until mixed. To the same large bowl add the deseeded cucumber diced very small, finely minced celery heart stalks, very thinly sliced green onions, diced avocado, and combine.
4. Scoop the shrimp with with a slotted spoon or an Asian cooking tool called a spider, but retain the iced water
5. Cut them into 1 inch pieces if you are using large ones, if using small then don't cut them. Add the shrimp to the chili sauce bowl and stir well to cover them all with the sauce. Place the shrimp bowl into the iced water to further chill the cocktail down quickly. If you aren't needing this dish imeadiately, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate instead. Mixture can be chilled up to 12 hours. The shrimp may start getting water logged or soggy, so to speak from all of the moisture the longer you keep it.
6. Garnish the glasses or dessert dishes with slices or wedges of fresh lemon, or celery stalks.