Ina Garten's Genius Tip That Makes Shrimp Cocktail Shine

Ina Garten at an event
Ina Garten at an event - Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Ina Garten knows how to take a classic dish and make it her own. When the Barefoot Contessa serves shrimp cocktail, she shuns boiling these little crustaceans and instead roasts them. In a video on Food Network, Garten explains that you should begin by peeling the shrimp and removing the black vein that runs down the back. She leaves the tail intact, noting it makes a good handle, especially if you are dipping your shrimp into some Red's cocktail sauce before it finds its way to your pie hole.

The chef says she uses two pounds of shrimp (12-15 per pound), which will be large, substantial shrimp and not the one-bite option. She drizzles a couple of glugs of olive oil over the crustaceans, sprinkles salt and pepper for a little seasoning, tosses, and spreads them into a single layer on a sheet pan to put in the oven to roast for between eight and 10 minutes. Pretty simple. Garten serves them warm to room temperature with her classic cocktail sauce.

Read more: 11 Of The Best Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

Roasting Shrimp Is A Game Changer For Time And Texture

Roasted shrimp in a pan
Roasted shrimp in a pan - Vladimir Mironov/Getty Images

Ina Garten's roasting method for making her shrimp cocktail can really help you up your cooking game. Roasting shrimp is quicker than boiling and poaching because you don't have to wait for the water to heat up before you drop them in. Roasting will also give you greater control over their texture.

When you boil shrimp, more often than not, you wind up with an end product that is rubbery and tough in texture. That's because it cooks quickly, and if you don't drop some ice in the water to slow down the cooking process, they are prone to overcook. But beyond texture, food is all about the taste, and cooking shrimp in the oven is not only much easier, but it brings out a sweet saltiness that allows you to really appreciate its flavor. Roasted shrimp will be plump and juicy.

Can You Use Frozen Shrimp?

Shrimp roasted in garlic butter
Shrimp roasted in garlic butter - Kieferpix/Getty Images

Ina Garten uses what might be classified as either colossal or jumbo shrimp. Based on the 12-15 shrimp per pound she mentions in her video, it is a fair guess, but because there is no industry standard and it can vary from purveyor to purveyor, it is just a guess. That said, you can use smaller-sized shrimp to roast; however, you may need to adjust the roast time as smaller shrimp will cook faster.

Using frozen shrimp to make your roasted shrimp cocktail? Make sure they are completely thawed before you start preparing them. If you are making this recipe on the fly and using frozen shrimp, place them in a colander and run cold water over them until they are no longer icicles. It might take 15 to 20 minutes, but resist the temptation to run hot water over them, or you might end up with gummy-tasting roasted shrimp. If you like Garten's roasted shrimp cocktail, try adding it to a salad or roasting some to add to your lemon and garlic shrimp pasta.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.