old salt blog

Have a Shrimpy Christmas

Add Some Shrimp To Your Holiday Noshing

This holiday season, throw everyone a tasty curve ball with one of these two delicious, but definitely non traditional, holiday dishes. Shrimp Ajillo and Reverse Shrimp Boil use one protein to create two totally different flavor profiles. These two simple shrimp recipes are great for any holiday get together. Use either of these as appetizers or your entrée.
Sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Shrimp Ajillo – Spanish Style Garlic Shrimpspanish-garlic-shrimp

Serves 2 as a main course or 3 to 5 as an appetizer

Time: 30 minutes


12 cloves garlic (add more or less garlic depending on your taste)
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, shells reserved
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch red pepper flakes, or a 1-inch piece dried guajillo chili
1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Finely mince 4 garlic cloves and place in large bowl. Smash 4 cloves under the flat side of a knife and place in a large skillet. Thinly slice remaining four garlic cloves and set aside.
  2. Add shrimp to bowl with minced garlic. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and baking soda. Toss to combine thoroughly and set aside at room temperature.
  3. Add shrimp shells to skillet with smashed garlic and add remaining olive oil and pepper flakes. Set over medium-low to low heat and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until shells are deep ruby red, garlic is pale golden brown, and oil is intensely aromatic, about 10 minutes. Oil should be gently bubbling the whole time. When ready, strain through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl, tossing and pressing the shrimp shells to extract as much oil as possible. Discard shells and garlic.
  4. Return flavored oil to skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add sliced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until pale golden brown, about 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook, tossing and stirring constantly until shrimp are barely cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add sherry vinegar and parsley and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt. Serve immediately.

Reverse Shrimp Boil (it doesn’t get any easier then this)


1+ lbs. Shrimp

shrimp boilSeasoning (for ice bath)

Old Bay Seasoning (to taste)
Sliced lemon
Fresh cracked peppercorns
Bay leaves
Cayenne pepper
Dried oregano
Garlic powder


  1. Prepare Seasoned Ice Bath – have this ready to go when shrimp are done cooking (see below). Add Seasoning ingredients to ice bath;  measurements of ingredients are a personal preference, use as little or as much as you want. Depending on the amount of Shrimp you are cooking fill a large bowl with water and ice, water should be extremely cold when shrimp are added. Water will warm up fast since shrimp are hot, be sure to have plenty of ice in bowl.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil (season water with salt)
  3. Add shrimp to water.
  4. As soon as you see one or two shrimp float to the surface drain all of the shrimp immediately and place them directly in the cold ice bath. Let set minimum of 5 minutes. 
  5. When ready to eat, drain water and serve

This method works with any shrimp boil recipe. The theory is the shrimp absorb the flavors from the cold water faster and easier.
Don’t forget the Cocktail Sauce…Add Capers, lemon and a dash of worcestershire sauce to give your cocktail sauce a kick.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

Leave a reply

king mackerel fishing tournament
fishing tournaments and events