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Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce & Cilantro Pesto

Yield: Yields 1 cup of each sauce.

Servings: twelve.

You can poach the shrimp yourself or buy pre-cooked shrimp.


  • 3 lb. cooked large shrimp, peeled with tails on

For the cocktail sauce:

  • 3/4 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. prepared horseradish, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • A few dashes Tabasco sauce, to taste

For the cilantro pesto:

  • 2 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1/3 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, cored and seeded
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil


To make the cocktail sauce:

  • In a bowl, stir all the ingredients together. Add more horseradish or hot sauce to taste. Chill before serving.

To make the cilantro pesto:

  • In a food processor, combine the cilantro, peanuts, garlic, jalapeño, and scallions. Process to a rough paste. Add the fish sauce and lime juice; process until the sauce begins to turn creamy. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil; process until combined. Chill before serving.

Make Ahead Tips

A good make-ahead hors d’oeuvre for Thanksgiving or any holiday meal. Both sauces can be made two days ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator.


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Reviews (1 review)

  • ValerieMO | 10/26/2007

    The cilantro pesto is good and the cocktail sauce always gets RAVE reviews when I serve it. I think the celery seed gives the cocktail sauce an extra "kick" that everyone likes.

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