Friday, December 30, 2016

The 99¢ Las Vegas Shrimp Cocktail







     A Las Vegas Tradition!
     I miss my home town Las Vegas when working abroad.  When home sick, I cook Las Vegas style food.  There are fantastic food values in Las Vegas.  One great value is the 99¢ Las Vegas Shrimp Cocktail!  A Shrimp Cocktail costs a high volume restaurant about one dollar to make, so the Las Vegas style Shrimp Cocktail actually is a casino promotional menu item.
     The Golden Gate Casino is located at Main Street and Fremont Street.  This luxury hotel was built in 1906 and it used to be called the Sal Sagev, which is Las Vegas spelled backwards.  Later in history it became the first casino in Las Vegas.  The Golden Gate Casino also was the first to introduce the Shrimp Cocktail in 1959.  Ever since, over 40 million Shrimp Cocktails have been sold at the Golden Gate Casino as of 2012.  This casino finally stopped counting the fantastic number of Shrimp Cocktails sold soon after 2012, because everybody knows that the Golden Gate is the number one top seller of the classic Vegas style Shrimp Cocktail.
     The Shrimp Cocktail was actually invented at Antoine's in New Orleans.  The Vegas style Shrimp Cocktail differs by only a slight variation.  The bottom of the glass is always lined with diced celery.
     The Vegas Shrimp Cocktail is a traditional celebration item for any big event, especially New Year's Eve.  One must simply have a Shrimp Cocktail sometime before the ball drops!  This is a fairly easy item to make and as the Golden Gate Casino sale numbers prove, the Vegas Shrimp Cocktail is a real crowd pleaser!

     Poached Shrimp:
     This recipe yields enough for 2 large Vegas Shrimp Cocktails.
     Step 1:  Place 1 quart of water in a small sauce pot.
     Add 1 bay leaf.
     Add 2 whole dried allspice berries.
     Add 1/2 of a lemon.
     Add 6 whole black peppercorns.
     Add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seed.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
     Step 2:  Place the pot over medium high heat.
     Boil the liquid for 3 minutes, so the spice flavors infuse.
     Add 1 pound of whole large shrimp.  (Large shrimp are 16/20 per pound)
     Poach the shrimp, till they are fully cooked.
     Step 3:  Place the poached shrimp in a container of ice water.
     Wait for the shrimp to completely chill.
     Step 4:  Peel and devein the shrimp.
     Remove the tails.
     Place the shrimp in a container.
     Chill the shrimp till they are needed.

     Classic Cocktail Sauce:
     This recipe yields about 1 1/3 cups.  (More than enough for 2 large Shrimp Cocktails.)
     Cocktail Sauce was an Antoine's of New Orleans creation!  Organic Ketchup is the best, because it is the closest to the original ketchup recipe.   
     Step 1:  Place 3/4 cup of organic ketchup in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/4 cup of chili sauce.
     *American style Chile Sauce is a tomato condiment that is like ketchup in color and texture.  Chili sauce is not a hot pepper sauce!  If none can be found, then add 2 more ounces of organic ketchup.
     Step 2:  Add 3 1/2 tablespoons of prepared fine grated horseradish.
     *The amount of horseradish actually depends on the strength of the horseradish, so use your judgement!
     Add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of finely minced garlic.
     Add 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce.
     Add 1 teaspoon of Louisiana Cayenne Pepper Hot Sauce.
     Step 3:  Whisk the ingredients together.
     Place the sauce in a container.
     Chill to 41ºF, so the flavors meld.

     The 99¢ Las Vegas Shrimp Cocktail:
     This recipe describes 1 Las Vegas Shrimp Cocktail.
     Step 1:  Place 1/4 cup of diced celery on the bottom of a large martini glass, a parfait glass or a brandy snifter.
     Step 2:  Alternate layers of 8 to 10 poached shrimp with generous spoonfuls of the cocktail sauce (about 1/2 cup), till the glass is filled to the top.
     Garnish with a lemon wedge and an Italian Parsley sprig.

     Viola!  A Classic 99¢ Las Vegas Shrimp Cocktail for New Year's Eve!

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