Smoked Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail
2017 was a huge year for Traeger Grills. Traeger reengineered their famous pellet grill and launched the Timberline Series of Grills. Traeger traveled the nation and hosted a slew of shop classes bringing competition barbecue to cul-de-sacs everywhere. Traeger also redesigned their rubs and sauces and added many more to the arsenal. One of the things Traeger added to its already line of great products was the Smoked Bloody Mary Mix and Marinade.
I like an occasional tomato beer and have found Bloody Mary Mix makes some of the best tomato beers. I was excited to get my hands on this and when I did it did not disappoint. As soon as I got the first taste of the smoked Bloody Mary Mix I knew it was going to be great and immediately thought it would be the perfect foundation for a shrimp cocktail.
What’s makes a good shrimp cocktail? Besides a flavorful sauce quality shrimp are a necessity. Quality shrimp are tender with a plump body and slightly crisp. Brining your shrimp before cooking them will guarantee you will achieve the perfect shrimp. The salt in the brine will help keep the shrimp plump and moist, and the sugars will add a little sweetness into each bite.
Ingredients for brine
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup water
2 cups ice
In a small saucepan combine water, salt and sugar. Heat on medium heat; bring all ingredients minus the ice, to a simmer. Stir occasionally until sugar and salt have dissolved. Remove from heat and transfer into a medium size bowl. Allow a few minutes to cool and add ice.
While brine is cooling rinse the prawns under cold water. Use a pair of scissors or knife to remove the shell and intestinal track. You may leave the tails intact if you wish. Rinse the prawns and place in cold brine for approximately 30 minutes. While the prawns are brining, rinse the cooked baby shrimp in a strainer and set a side.
Ingredients for cocktail
1 ½ - 2 cups chilled Traeger’s Smoked Bloody Mary Mix
Juice of 1 Lemon and a little lemon zest for extra flavor
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ pound pre-cooked baby shrimp
½ pound large prawns
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a medium sized cast iron skillet. Place skillet in Traeger with the lid open and start on the smoke setting. Smoke for 5 to 10 minutes until fire is established. Close the lid and set temperature to the high setting (375-425). If using another grill prepare it was direct heat and pre-heat cast iron skillet.
Mix 1 ½ to 2 cups of chilled Traeger’s Bloody Mary Mix with the juice of one lemon, sugar, tomato paste, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Stir in the cooked baby shrimp and refrigerate. While the cocktail sauce continues to chill, remove the prawns from the brine and rinse under cold water. Season the prawns generously with Traeger Rub and cook in pre-heated cast iron skillet 2-3 minutes per side.
Once prawns are cooked, remove them from skillet and place on a paper towel. Give the prawns a coat of freshly squeezed lemon juice and add prawns to the cocktail mixture. Garnish with cilantro, lemon and chopped avocado (optional). Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips or tostada shells. I like mine with saltine crackers.
Get Traeger Smoked Bloody Mary Mix <-Click Here
Stay tuned. I will be working on some big projects in 2018. Follow my Instagram @freedomsohard and don’t forget to subscribe on the right side of my home page.