Cold Shrimp al a Archipelago

Over the holiday, I made this little antipasto spread for a porch party we had. I had most of the usual suspects on the menu along with a carafe of Margarita mix and a bottle of Orvietto chilling in the ice bucket.

However, instead of serving sliced pepperoni and soppressatta, I went with something different. Looking at the jumble of ingredients in the refrigerator gave me inspiration, and Cold Shrimp Archipellego was in the making.

First, I poached the shrimp in my version of Court Bullion –

1.5 quarts of water

8 whole black peppercorns

2 stalks of celery chopped large

4 large green onions, chopped

3 bay leaves

5 parsley stems

3 slices of lemon

Bring to a slow boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain out the ingredients for the actual poaching.

When you poach the shrimp, a high simmer or very low boil is enough heat. Have an ice water bath ready to cool them off in once they are cooked through.

The ‘relish’ for the shrimp is a super simple combination of light, fresh summer flavors. The flavor profile is similar to the Court Bullion, just bolder.

The mix of tomato and cucumber is one-third to two-thirds, or one large-ish cucumber to two medium size round slicing tomatoes.

Peel the cucumber and slice the long way. Remove the seeds with a small spoon. Cut in cubes 1/2″ x 1/2″.

Dice the tomato the same size. Remove any seeds that are easy to do so.

Mix in a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon capers and about a 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill.

Season to taste and let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour before serving with the chilled shrimp.

Balancing the flavors here is the key. Not too much of one flavor! Balance keeps the brain engaged and coming back for more because it has a lot to figure out as opposed to one flavor alone.

I will leave the plate arrangement up to you.

Bon appetite and God bless!

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