Taste of the Week – March 15-21, 2009

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This week's top taste is not something new. In fact, it is something I have had numerous times before, so much so, that it fits squarely in the realm of comfort food for me, even if it is not an everyday indulgence. I am speaking of a "continental" classic – the Shrimp Cocktail!

When I was growing up, a shrimp cocktail was always such a treat. I even liked the old Sau-Sea pre-made shrimp cocktails that came in little glasses that our family saved to use as juice glasses. The best, however, even better than any restaurant's, were those made by my father, Dr. Lawrence Sconzo. While the shrimp is the centerpiece of the dish and the quality is of utmost importance, the key to a great shrimp cocktail is the cocktail sauce. My father, who did not skimp on the horseradish made a great one. In my family, that tradition fell to my brother, Gregory, who has always done a stellar job, so much so that for family gatherings and celebrations, he has always been entrusted "to bring the shrimp."

At a family celebration last Sunday at the home of my brother Greg and his wife, Grace, he once again made his shrimp cocktail. While it has always been excellent, this particular time was off the charts, as good as any I have ever had. Yes, the shrimp were excellent,of good size,  perfectly cooked and flavorful. The sauce, however, was superlative, with a great bite from the horseradish, but with enough underlying complexity to keep it from being just a one or two-note ditty.

The cocktail sauce recipe per Gregory Louis Sconzo:

1 16oz jar of Heinz ketchup, 1 jar of 
gold's hot horseradish 6 oz.  1 fresh lemon , 4 stalks of celery chopped to
a minced  mode, 3 splashes of Lea & Perrins
Worcestershire Sauce. All ingredients to be mixed in the order shown. Keep sauce chilled untill
use.

A good shrimp cocktail will always be a treat to me. This was a great one.


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4 Responses to Taste of the Week – March 15-21, 2009

  1. Doc! Have you tried a Mexican shrimp cocktail? It’s a completely different and thrilling taste; I think you’ll love it.
    You’ll find a recipe here:
    http://mexicocooks.typepad.com/mexico_cooks/2008/06/mexico-cooks-shows-guadalajara-toguadalajarans.html
    Let me know how you like it!
    Cristina

  2. John Sconzo says:

    That coctel looks delicious as well. I’ll have to try it, though I doubt that I would enjoy it as much as I would if I was eating it in Mexico!

  3. Our greatest compliment for this dish is to say “the shrimp taste like shrimp.” Sadly that is less often the case.

  4. John Sconzo says:

    True. Its getting harder harder to find good shrimp. Most of the farm-raised stuff from Asia is garbage.

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