Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Year's Appetizer Idea; Shrimp with Cumin, Ginger, and Cilantro Spiced Cocktail Sauce

My aunt JoAnn always has an amazing spread of food out on her table whenever we come over, but it's especially impressive on Christmas day.  This year she didn't disappoint.  Actually I take that back, my dad was angry because my aunt (his sister) decided to get creative with the cocktail sauce and use a recipe found on, instead of the usual horseradish cocktail sauce.  But, sorry dad, this sauce was freaking DELICIOUS, and you're crazy for not enjoying every amazing bite.

If the sauce wasn't loaded with FODMAPs, I'd probably make it every day, or at least for every occasion when an appetizer is needed.  Nick loved it, and the recipe doesn't seem too difficult.  Plus, it's unique and really pretty.

Shrimp with Spiced Cocktail Sauce
Hands-on Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Serves 8


2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger (from 1/2-inch piece)
1 glove garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (YUM!)
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp


1.  Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the shallot, mustard seeds, ginger, garlic, and 1/4th tsp. each salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally until the shallot is soft, 3 to 5 minutes.  

2.  Add the tomato paste and cumin to the saucepan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add the sugar and 1/2 cup water and stir to combine.  Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate until chilled, at least one hour. Fold in cilantro and serve with shrimp.

Note:  This can be made up to two days before serving.  Refrigerate, covered, and stir in additional cilantro before serving if making ahead.

Am I the only one who gets really excited when there is shrimp cocktail at a party?  Seriously, I get giddy.  It's almost embarrassing. 

Question:  What's the one appetizer that makes you giddy with excitement?!

Thanks for reading!

The Candid Rd
NOTE: I love comments!  But, be sure to come back to read any replies to questions or comments, as they do not go directly to your e-mail.


  1. This looks fantastic! I'm looking for New Years apps...if seafood fits in my travels, I'd like to include this.

  2. The sauce looks similar to one my mom makes but the one she makes has eggplant in it. So, they probably taste very different.
    Ummm I dont really get overly excited about appetizers at a party but desserts...thats a whole 'nother story! lol

    1. Oh trust me, desserts are my favorite too. Actually the only appetizer I really even care about is shrimp cocktail (and maybe cheese!)

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