SERVES 10 TO 12
Put the shrimp in a large stockpot and add enough cold water to just cover them. Add the onion, bay leaves, and peppercorns and place the pot over high heat. When the water comes to a boil, add the vermouth and cook until the shrimp turn pink, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Put a colander in the sink, drain the shrimp, and run cold water over them until cooled.
Peel and devein the shrimp leaving the tails on. Put the shrimp in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.
Serve the shrimp on a bed of crushed ice, accompanied by lemon wedges and the two sauces.
When I was growing up in Long Island, I enjoyed clamming, fishing, and crabbing with my good friend Ollie Edwards on our harbor in St. James and on Long Island Sound. Ollie was also a very good cook at a young age. One of his favorite recipes was his vermouth-poached shrimp cocktail with 2 sauces, which I still make frequently today. Thanks to the aromatics that traditionally flavor the fortified wine, vermouth really makes a delicious difference.
2 pounds jumbo shrimp (preferably Gulf), shells on
1 medium onion, quartered, skin left on
3 bay leaves
6 whole black peppercorns
1 cup dry vermouth
1 (12-ounce) jar Heinz Chili Sauce
3 to 4 teaspoons refrigerated store-bought horseradish sauce
Juice of ¼ lemon
1 cup mayonnaise (preferably Hellman’s)
1/3 cup Heinz Ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
In a medium bowl, stir together the chili sauce, horseradish, and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.
In another medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce.
Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.