A couple of people looking at the new Food photo album IÂ shared in the last few days have asked me how I made the ice ring with seashells in it for the Ring of the Sea Shrimp.Â It is very simple.Â the idea is not originally mine, but that of Shirley O. Corriher when she usedÂ to teach as a visiting/traveling cooking teacher at my cooking school in South Carolina back in the early 80′s.
MAKING THE ICE RING
Start this a few days ahead, and keep in freezer until needed. I try to have one always in the freezer, ready for use when I need it.
Use a large, round metal rice or ring mold (at least 8-cup capacity).
Start by placing a few assorted types of small seashells, tiny starfish and tiny seahorses (you can find them in craft shops) in the mold.
Add a small amount of water, just enough to let them float a little bit, but still be on the bottom. Put in freezer on a level shelf, and let the water freeze solid. Add a little bit more water, and freeze again.
In the next layer, add more shells and a bit more water and freeze again.Â Repeat, adding shells and water until the mold is completely full and frozen through. For an almost crystal clear ring, use bottled water or boil your water before using.
For every 1-1/2 lbs of shrimp (unpeeled), use 1 tablespoon Old Bay seafood seasoning or any other brand of shrimp boil seasoning, or pickling spice and large quantities of salted boiling water in a large stockpot.Â Â Sometimes I peel them before cooking.Â Depending on the type party in which they will be served.Â If it’s an informal party, cook with the peel on and let the guests mess with the peeling – be sure to provide lots of napkins or tables covered with layers of newspapers, a la Cajun Crawfish Boil….!
Cook shrimp by just “heating them through” until slightly pink, in the boiling, salted water with the seafood seasoning or pickling spices. Do not overcook,Â as they will get rubbery. Chill and reserve.
FISH MARKET SAUCE
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon creamy horseradish
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon honey
Whisk all ingredients together, blending well. Pour over grilled, broiled, baked or sauteed fish. This sauce is wonderful as a marinade or dipping sauce for cooked shrimp!
Note: For a spicier sauce, increase the amount of Dijon mustard and creamy horseradish to 2 teaspoons each.
Unmold the ice ring by placing a clean, wet warm kitchen towel over the bottom of it just to loosen the ice.
Place several layers of folded paper towels on a large tray. Invert a large (10 to 12-inch) dinner plate or platter, and place over the paper towels, putting several more layers of folded paper towels over it.Â If you use a slightly ‘bowled’ dish, you might not need to palce the paper towels underneath as theÂ melting ice ring will drip into the bowl.
* Cover all of this with ti leaves or any other nontoxic large leaves so that you cannot see the paper towels. Place the ice ring over the leaves, with the rounded bottom up. This will serve as your “bowl” for the shrimp.
Put the boiled shrimp in the hole of your ring mold. Refill as needed. The shrimp can be already marinated with Fish Market Sauce, or serve the sauce in a small bowl placed next to the shrimp platter.
By the time I thought to take the picture, the ice ring was melting….;-)