Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Shrimp Cocktail.

September 26th

The Golden Gate Casino in Las Vegas celebrated the sale of 25 million servings of its famous shrimp cocktail on this day in 1991. The casino started serving the shrimp cocktail in 1959, at which time it cost 50c. Inflation caught up with it along the way, and it is now 99c, which still sounds like a bargain when you consider that the cocktail is served in a 6 ounce glass and there is no padding, not even lettuce. It is pure shrimp with cocktail sauce.

What I want to know is – who did the counting? The famous Tour d’Argent restaurant in Paris is famous for its Pressed Duck, and since 1890 when Edward VIII got official serving number one, every guest who orders the dish is presented with a numbered card. The one millionth serving was in April 2003, and the numbers are now beyond 1.2 million. One million in over a century is not as big a counting effort as 25 million in 32 years. I bet they just estimated.

The casino cocktail sauce is, of course, secret, so this one will have to do. It is from The American People’s Cookbook (1956), and is pure 1950’s. Get Retro and make it.

Shrimp with Peppy Cocktail Sauce.
1 ½ lbs fresh shrimp with shells.
Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

For Peppy Cocktail Sauce:
To make about 1 cup sauce, mix thoroughly in a small bowl
1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon onion juice
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
few drops Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon Accent*.
Chill in refrigerator.

For completing cocktail:
Arrange in 6 chilled sherbert glasses:
Lettuce or curly endive
Arrange about 5 shrimps in each glass. Top each serving with the Peppy Cocktail Sauce.

*Accent is a commercial brand of MSG, and as such could (and perhaps should) be left entirely out of the picture. Although, having said that, there are no doubt commercial brands of ketchup that contain plenty of MSG.

Tomorrow’s Story …


Quotation for the Day …

I think somebody should come up with a way to breed a very large shrimp. That way, you could ride him, then, after you camped at night, you could eat him. How about it, science? Jack Handey.


T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

It sounds like a shrewd marketer was doing the counting! The cocktail sauce recipe is excellent. While I've never cooked with Accent, I suspect it was included to enhance the savoury flavor of the sauce.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I eat shrimp cocktail as an excuse to have the cocktail sauce. I love the stuff.