I love this spin on a traditional cocktail sauce. The green chiles, cilantro and lime give a nice set of Mexican flavors to accompany the cumin shrimp. The consistency of the cocktail sauce is much like that of a traditional cocktail sauce. It is great for dipping or even drizzled over the shrimp. This was my appetizer for our Barger Christmas dinner this year, which was beautifully hosted by my sister-in-law. I had grand plans of having little plastic shot glasses filled 1/3 of the way with the green cocktail sauce with two beautifully roasted shrimp gently sitting on top. I envisioned these little individually sized servings to be perfect for handing around on a tray to the extended family. But, grand plans and visions sometimes, just sometimes, meet up with reality. Ha! My youngest got sick on Christmas morning so my husband and I had to take a tag-team approach to attending our Christmas evening festivities along with our older, healthier child. I tagged in first so I could take my appetizer and my side dish. I took the easy route and placed the shrimp on a pretty oven-safe silver tray, roasted them up for a few minutes and set them out with an accompanying silver bowl of tasty green cocktail sauce (which I quickly whipped up at home before I went). It was certainly easy and pretty enough, I suppose (but I still intend on doing the individual servings some day). I tagged out before dinner to go home to the sick child, but was rewarded when I received a to-go sized tupperware full of leftovers — perfectly cooked beef tenderloin, jalapeño scalloped potatoes, roasted asparagus with lemony garlic breadcrumbs, mini chocolate mousse with raspberries and assorted Christmas cookies. I was pretty happy even if I was eating alone on my couch in my pjs. All was well on Christmas night!
*This recipe is very versatile. In the summer, you could easily skewer the shrimp (even with some chorizo and peppers, grill them, lay them atop a beautiful pile of brown rice and black beans and drizzle some delicious green cocktail on top.
Cumin Roasted Shrimp with Green Chile Cocktail Sauce (Serves 8-10 as appetizer, 4 as main dish)
1 1/2 lbs peeled and deveined large shrimp, tails on
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp ground cumin, plus a pinch more for the cocktail sauce
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
two 4.5 oz cans chopped green chile peppers
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about one lime)
a couple shakes of green tobacco or regular tobacco to spice it up (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss the shrimp with 2 Tbsp of oil, cumin, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing once, until opaque throughout, 4-6 minutes.
Meanwhile, pulse the peppers, cilantro, 2 Tbsp of oil, lime juice, 1/2 tsp of salt 1/2 tsp pepper and a pinch of cumin in a food processor until smooth. Add a few shakes of tobacco to kick up the heat!
Serve the shrimp hot, cold or at room temperature with the sauce. The sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Recipe slightly adapted from Food Network Kitchen