It was the absolute most wonderful weekend I can remember -- the weather was lovely and clear, the temperature was just right, and we had a big cookout at my parent's house on Saturday. We have this cookout every year and pretty much everyone we know comes. My parents have a great house out in the country with lots of deck space for chilling out, lots of trees, and lots of great laid backness and hospitality. There is more food than you can possibly imagine and most of it is better than I eat pretty much any other time of the year. It's great. My stepdad makes his ribs, which are (no kidding) the best ribs I have ever eaten in my entire life. Really. I can't give out the recipe for those, though. Not that I could do anything with the recipe if I did have it. I have never used and smoker and wouldn't even know where to begin. All the other food is chipped in potluck style, so you never know what you're gonna get, but you can rest assured that it will all be darn tasty.
This week is gonna be all the goodies I contributed to the spread at the cookout, or outcook as my six year old called it. I contributed a couple of things that are already on the blog -- Spicy Roasted Okra and Cinnamon Sugar Snack Mix. I also brought a few other things. The first one I'm going to give you is the Pickled Shrimp. This is a staple in lots of Southern households, or so I've been told. I come from a long line of poor folks, so shrimp was not on the menu. It's a luxury item. Shrimp is still a luxury item, but I always make at least one dish that's a bit of a splurge for the cookout. This stuff is some great, finger-lickin' snack food. It can sit out at room temperature for a little while, too. All that vinegar will actually prevent any sickness-causing bacteria from growing, so don't be afraid of letting it hang out on the counter while your guests mingle. It's also got such great depth and complexity of flavor, you'll leave 'em guessing about what's actually in it. So make up a batch and take it outside and enjoy the springtime.
Get two pounds of cooked, deveined, and tail-on shrimp.
Whip up your pickling sauce. All you need and a bowl and whisk. Toss your shrimp into the sauce.
Chop up a bunch of green onions. Only the green parts though.
Then, chop up some onion. It needs to be fairly fine, but don't get too OCD about it.
Throw the onions and green onions into the party. Aren't the colors pretty?
Throw it into the fridge and let it soak. After a day or two, you can savor the deliciousness.
makes 2 pounds
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1/2 cup malt vinegar
1/4 cup spicy mustard (I used some of my homemade mustard. Here's the recipe.)
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 cup olive oil
2 lbs cooked, deveined shrimp
1 bunch thinly sliced green onions
1 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp minced garlic
In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, sugar, Old Bay, and cayenne pepper. In a slow stream, whisk in the oil, until the mixture is well combined and smooth. Stir the shrimp into the pickling mixture. Stir in the green onions, onion, and garlic. Cover, and chill overnight and up to 48 hours.