RECIPE: What to Bring to the Thanksgiving Table

Roasted Shrimp_monte matthews

You just got married and you’re going to your in-laws for Thanksgiving, or your brother and his wife are finally hosting Thanksgiving at their house, or your kids are grown and have moved away, so you’re celebrating Thanksgiving at a friend’s house. What can you bring to the Thanksgiving table?

Thanksgiving is a time of food, festivities and fun, and it’s also a time for giving and for being grateful. So if you’re headed outside your own home this holiday, here is a simple and elegant idea that will make a lasting impression.

It goes without saying that you can bring the standard mashed potatoes, carrots or apple pie to your host or hostess, but why not bring something to start, like Hampton native, Ina Garten’s roasted shrimp cocktail? This is 100 percent my go-to appetizer whether I’m having guests or going to someone else’s house. Paired with a delicious Long Island wine like Sparkling Pointe’s 2011 Methode Champenoise Brut for $29, you can’t go wrong.

Since Thanksgiving dinner can leave you quite full and bloated, you’ll want to bring a light appetizer that people can enjoy while waiting for the turkey to come out of the oven. Ina’s roasted shrimp cocktail is perfect if you don’t want to fill up. I can honestly say, I make this recipe for all the holidays, even for July 4. It’s like no other shrimp cocktail you’ve had before, and it is so incredibly easy and non-messy to make. You’ll never boil shrimp again, and it’s cheaper and tastes better than buying a shrimp cocktail platter from your fishmonger. The salt and pepper makes this recipe pop. Remember to buy good quality fresh shrimp.

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail (Serves 6 to 8)
Copyright 2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten, Clarkson/Potter Publishers, All Rights Reserved. Photo: Quentin Bacon
For the shrimp:
2 pounds (12 to 15 count) shrimp
1 tablespoon good olive oil
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
½ cup Heinz chili sauce
½ cup Heinz ketchup
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place them on a sheet pan with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread them in one layer. Roast for 8 to10 minutes, just until pink and firm and cooked through. Set aside to cool. For the sauce, combine the chili sauce, ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco. Serve as a dip with the shrimp.