TDB Homemade: Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

Who doesn’t love shrimp cocktail? I often have a supply of pre-cooked shrimp in my freezer, just waiting to be thawed out for a quick snack or dinner ingredient. I do not, however, stock my fridge with cocktail sauce because (as my mother taught me long ago) making it on my own is just as quick and easy as opening a jar. There are just two ingredients that are necessary – ketchup and horseradish. Now, granted, commercially prepared ketchup is not always one of the most highly regarded condiments on the shelf when it comes to healthy eating, but there are quite a few brands now that make it organic, low salt, low sugar, or all-natural, and almost every home has some of it sitting around. And, to be honest, I think this cocktail sauce is just as good as any kind I’ve had in a restaurant or out of a jar. Try it, and see if you can tell the difference! So here’s the basic recipe:

2 Tbsp. ketchup + 1 Tbsp. horseradish — stir it together in a small bowl, and it’s ready to serve.

Add more or less horseradish to your liking. Other items may be added to enhance the flavor to your taste, such as hot sauce, a twist of lemon, Worcestershire sauce, or wasabi powder, but I don’t find any of those necessary and usually stick with what’s simple.

So, here you go – something quick and easy that you can make in less than 30 seconds. Serve with cold cooked shrimp, and enjoy!


Shrimp Dip

Here’s a recipe for a festive dip that is great for taking along to all those bring-a-dish office parties and family dinners that are quickly filling your calendar. It comes out somewhat like a salmon mousse, but with a very delicate shrimp taste that most people find delightful.

The recipe calls for a can of condensed tomato soup, an item which is on my “no buy” list out of concerns such as BPA lining, preservatives, and the quality of the ingredients within, so I usually make my own version, a recipe for which is posted at the bottom. It still may require the use of canned tomato sauce, when fresh is not an option, but at least higher quality, organic versions of tomato sauce in a can without the easy-open top are more readily available than they are for the soup.


Shrimp Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 pound shrimp, cooked and de-veined
1 can condensed tomato soup (see the recipe below for the homemade version)
1/4 ounce gelatin (1 1/2 teaspoon)
2 tsp. chopped chives (optional)

Chop the celery and onion and set aside. Remove the tail shells from the shrimp and coarsely chop it, reserving two or more for garnish. Heat the cream cheese in a medium sauce pan over low heat until soft. Add the mayonnaise and the tomato soup and stir until combined. Meanwhile, soften the gelatin in 1 tablespoon of water, then add it to the mixture. Stir until it just comes to a boil, then remove from heat and fold in the vegetables and shrimp. Transfer it all to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours before serving. Garnish with the chopped chives and reserved shrimp.

Serve with pita chips, fresh veggies, or your choice of crackers.

Homemade condensed tomato soup

8 oz plain tomato sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt

Stir all the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until combined.