shrimp cocktail + artichoke-potato gratin

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Herb-Poached Shrimp
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook

1 pound very large (16 to 20 per pound) shrimp, peeled, de-veined, and rinsed, shells reserved
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dry white wine
4 peppercorns
5 coriander seeds
1/2 bay leaf
5 sprigs fresh parsley
1 sprig fresh tarragon
1teaspoon juice from 1 small lemon

1. Bring reserved shells, 3 cups water and salt to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high head; reduced heat to low; cover, and simmer until fragrant, about 20 minutes. Strain stock through sieve, pressing on shells to extract all liquid.
2. Bring stock and remaining ingredients except shrimp to boil in 3- or 4-quart saucepan over high heat; boil 2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in shrimp; cover and let stand until firm and pink, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain shrimp, reserving stock for another use. Plunge shrimp into ice water to stop coking, then draining again. Serve shrimp chilled with cocktail sauce.

Cocktail Sauce
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook

1 cup ketchup
2 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish (I believed we used slightly more)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ancho or other mild chili powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon juice from 1 small lemon

Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl; adjust seasonings as necessary.

Summer Panzanella
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties! via Leites Culinaria

3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained

For the vinaigrette
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
2. For the vinaigrette, whisk together the ingredients.
3. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
4. Serve immediately, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

Artichoke-and-Yukon Gold Potato Gratin
Adapted from The Hotel Loretto, Santa Fe, CA via Leite’s Culinaria

I doubled this recipe and fit it in a 9×13 baking dish.

1 lemon
4 small artichokes
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped (about 1 medium clove)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
4 ounces Asiago cheese, grated (I used cave-aged Gruyere, because it’s my favorite)

1. Juice the lemon and add the juice to a pot of salted water. Bring to a boil Reserve the used halves of the lemon. Trim the bottom of the artichokes and peel off the outer leaves. Cut off the top 2/3 of the artichoke, and the stem at the artichoke’s base. With a paring knife, hollow out the center of the artichoke, scraping away all traces of the leaves and the fuzzy choke, then trim the tough peel off the base of the artichoke. Only the heart should remain. Rub the hearts with the reserved lemon halves

2. Slice the artichoke hearts 1/8 inch thick, and blanch in the lemon water until tender, about 5 minutes. After they are cooked, shock the slices in an ice bath and drain. Combine the cream garlic, salt, and pepper in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and let reduce slightly. Peel the potatoes and slice 1/8 inch thick. To prevent discoloration, hold them in cold water until you are ready to use.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Brush a 5-by-8-inch loaf pan with olive oil. Drain the potatoes and layer 1/4 of them in the loaf pan. First setting aside about 3 tablespoons of the cheese, sprinkle 1/3 of the remainder over the potatoes. Put 1/3 of the artichokes on top of the cheese. Repeat layering the potatoes, cheese, and artichoke chokes, in that order, two more times. Cover with a final layer of potatoes and pour the cream mixture over everything. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes am tender. Remove the foil, sprinkle the gratin with the 3 tablespoons cheese that you set aside earlier, and return the gratin to the oven for another 5 minutes or until the cheese has browned.

4. After you take the gratin out of the oven, let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting. Run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the gratin, cut it into four servings, and remove the slices with a spatula.

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