Citizens, pickled shrimp are a beloved, old-school Southern recipe that are a particular speciality of South Carolina – and with the South Carolina Presidential Primary nearly upon us, it seems a perfect recipe to share! 🙂
As noted in an article on Zester.com:
“Swimpee! Swimpee!” shouted the shrimp vendors of years past in Charleston, S.C., as they wended their way through the streets, the fresh shrimp in their baskets glistening in the early morning light.
Southern hospitality being what it was, hostesses served that shrimp to their guests in velvety bisques and bubbling stews and pickles. Happily, not much has changed. Now as then, any gathering in the South, especially around the winter holidays, demands a lot of food. Pickled shrimp is just one option for you as you plan your upcoming holiday get-togethers.
One of the easiest ways to prepare an excess of shrimp came from the long English tradition of pickling. And so it’s no surprise to find a recipe for pickled shrimp in an early manuscript cookbook from the well-connected Pinckney family of Charleston, published in 1984 as “A Colonial Plantation Cookbook: The Receipt Book of Harriott Pinckney Horry, 1770.”
This recipe is easy, delicious and keeps handily in the fridge for a week, with the shrimp only getting more delicious and pickled over time!
My recipe is resolutely traditional, but with a few unique TFD touches, such as the use of white Balsamic vinegar for a more complex flavor and a bit of lime in addition to lemon. Try this and it will make you an honorary Southerner, Citizens!
Battle on – The Generalissimo
2 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 lb. (26–30 count) medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ tsp. celery seeds
¼ tsp. allspice berries
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup white balsamic vinegar
¼ cup capers with their juices
½ lemon, thinly sliced
½ lime, thinly sliced
¼ cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 ½ tsp. crushed red chile flakes
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
9 fresh (preferred) or top-quality dried bay leaves
½ medium Vidalia or other sweet onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
Bring Old Bay and 8 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan; add shrimp, reduce heat to low, and cook until shrimp are pink, about 2 minutes.
Drain and transfer to bowl of ice water to chill; drain again.
Finely grind celery seeds and allspice in a spice grinder; transfer to a bowl and stir in oil, vinegar, parsley, salt, chile flakes, garlic, capers/juice and bay leaves.
In a 1-qt. glass jar, layer shrimp, lemon, lime and onions; pour over oil mixture. Cover with lid; chill overnight before serving.