Shrimp cocktail for dinner and more recipes to make this week

By Emily Weinstein, The New York Times

I happen to live near a small but great seafood market, where the fish is impeccably fresh. Their poached shrimp is plump and juicy; the housemade cocktail sauce has just the right zing. I bought them once or twice as a starter for a special meal. But one day I realized that I was holding back: What I really wanted was to eat shrimp cocktail for dinner. And so I did. And it was great.

There is a problem, though: This place is open only a few days each week, for a few hours in the middle of the day, which is precisely the time I can’t go seafood shopping. So when I have a craving, I turn to recipes like Melissa Clark’s new roasted shrimp cocktail, which I can make anytime, no trips to the store, with frozen shrimp. (Always keep a bag of frozen shrimp in your freezer. It’s cost-effective and very useful.) That recipe, along with four others I’m excited about, are below.

1. Roasted Shrimp Cocktail With Horseradish Sauce

Roasting shrimp for shrimp cocktail intensifies their sweet saline flavor and makes them exceptionally plump and tender, with less chance of overcooking than the traditional poaching. Then, instead of being paired with the usual bright red cocktail sauce, these shrimp are served with a horseradish-forward take on a classic French rémoulade, which is both bracing and creamy. It’s best to season the sauce to taste: Adding more ketchup makes it sweeter and pinker; more lemon juice makes it tangier; more horseradish makes it sharper.

By Melissa Clark

Yield: 4 to 6 appetizer servings

Total time: 25 minutes


For the shrimp:

  • 1 pound extra-large (16 to 20 count) shrimp, shelled, deveined if you like
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the horseradish sauce:

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons prepared white horseradish, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ketchup, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika


1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Pat shrimp dry. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss shrimp with oil, a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper. Roast until the shrimp turn pink and opaque, and are cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes. (They shouldn’t curl up, which indicates overcooking.) Remove from the hot baking sheet and place on a plate or serving platter.

2. Prepare the horseradish sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients, adding a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste, adding more horseradish, lemon juice and ketchup if needed.

3. Serve shrimp with the sauce for dipping.

2. Sheet-Pan Roast Chicken With Tangy Greens

Chicken quarters are the unsung hero of weeknight dinners. In under an hour, they roast evenly, yielding consistently crisp skin with juicy insides. Curry powder and red-pepper flakes meld with the cooking juices, creating an effortless sauce directly in the pan, perfect for serving over the meat and tossing with greens for a fast, flavor-drenched side. The pickle brine from a jar of bread-and-butter pickles (or a splash of standard apple cider vinegar) lends a tangy finish to the greens. For this recipe, choose slightly larger and fattier chicken leg quarters to ensure enough pan drippings — and luscious schmaltz in every bite.

By Sarah Copeland

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Total time: 55 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus for drizzling
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for finishing
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken leg quarters (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
  • 10 ounces chopped fresh kale leaves or other braising greens (about 6 packed cups)
  • 1/2 cup pitted or unpitted green olives (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons bread-and-butter pickle brine or apple cider vinegar


1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl or heavy-duty resealable plastic bag, combine 3 tablespoons olive oil with the garlic, curry powder, salt, pepper and red-pepper flakes. Add chicken and toss well to coat. (If time allows, you can refrigerate the chicken in the marinade overnight, for deeper flavor.) Add one more tablespoon of oil if the chicken is lean or on the small side.

3. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, laying the chicken legs skin-side up and scattering the garlic among them. Roast until golden brown and just cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes, turning the pan front to back once about halfway through cooking for even browning. (An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees.)

4. Transfer the chicken to a platter or four plates to rest. Add the greens, olives (if using) and brine to the baking sheet; toss to coat in the cooking juices, then roast until wilted, bright green and slightly crispy on some of the edges, 5 minutes. Taste and season with more salt, if needed.

5. Serve the greens with the chicken, scraping any excess juices from the pan to drizzle over the top.

3. Black Pepper Stir-Fried Tofu and Asparagus

This fast, one-skillet stir-fry dinner combines vibrant spring vegetables with hearty tofu in a rich and spicy black-pepper sauce. (Use freshly ground pepper, if possible, for the ideal combination of flavor and heat.) The tofu is simmered in the fragrant sauce, which is spiked with aromatic garlic and ginger until it has absorbed all of the flavors and is nicely glazed. This recipe is perfect for using up that pencil-thin asparagus, which cooks quickly and toes the line between crisp and tender, while sweet snap peas balance out the assertive sauce. The dish can be served over baby spinach or in lettuce cups instead of with rice for a satisfying salad.

By Kay Chun

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 20 minutes


  • 6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado or light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce or a vegan alternative
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as safflower or canola
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
  • 1 pound pencil-thin asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into thirds
  • 4 ounces snap peas, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • Steamed short-grain brown or white rice, for serving


1. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper and 2 tablespoons of water. In a large nonstick skillet, combine tofu and half of the black pepper sauce, and season with salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened and nicely coats the tofu, about 5 minutes. Slide glazed tofu and any sauce out onto a rimmed plate.

2. Wipe or rinse out the skillet and heat oil over medium. Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add asparagus and snap peas, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add scallions, the remaining black pepper sauce and the tofu, and cook, stirring, until vegetables are evenly coated in the sauce. Stir in cilantro, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Divide tofu and vegetables among plates and spoon over any remaining pan sauce. Serve with rice.

4. Salmon Teriyaki

Salmon teriyaki is a classic for many reasons, most notably because it is crisp and tender, sweet and savory all at once. This quick, single-skillet rendition cooks the salmon most of the way on its skin so that the flesh is tender and the skin is shattery-crisp. In the last few minutes, the fish is glossed in teriyaki sauce. (The “teri” in teriyaki means “gloss” or “luster.”) You could add a smidgen of chopped Thai chiles or grated garlic or ginger to the sauce if you like, or just embrace the allure of its sweet saltiness.

By Ali Slagle

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 20 minutes


  • 4 (4- to 6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets, patted dry
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 4 teaspoons dark brown sugar


1. Season the salmon flesh lightly with salt, then coat the skin with oil. Place the salmon skin-side down in a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet. Turn the heat to medium and cook until the salmon is opaque halfway up the sides, 10 to 14 minutes. From time to time, press the salmon down with a spatula to help the skin make contact with the pan.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, mirin, sake and dark brown sugar.

3. Reduce the heat to low, flip the salmon and pour the sauce into the skillet, making sure to get the sugar in the bottom of the bowl. Let the sauce simmer until it starts to thicken, about 1 minute. Continue to simmer and occasionally spoon the sauce over the salmon until the salmon is cooked through and the sauce is foamy and glazy, 1 to 3 more minutes. If the salmon is done before the sauce has thickened, transfer the salmon to a plate and continue to simmer the sauce until it resembles maple syrup. Pour the sauce over the salmon.

5. Edamame Pesto Pasta

While edamame are most often served in their pods and consumed as a snack, the shelled beans found in the supermarket freezer are an excellent ingredient for weeknight cooking. Edamame are young soybeans harvested before they ripen or harden, and they are an excellent source of protein. Here, they are blitzed to make a nutty ‘pesto’ — buttery but mellow, with a hint of sweetness. This is also a great way to use up whatever soft herbs you have in the fridge like basil, parsley, mint, cilantro or dill or a combination. The nutritional yeast adds a savory punch, but if you aren’t vegan, you can substitute with a grated hard cheese like Parmesan or pecorino.

By Hetty McKinnon

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Total time: 30 minutes


  • Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) and black pepper
  • 1 (12-ounce) package frozen shelled edamame
  • 1 pound short pasta, such as fusilli, rigatoni or cavatappi
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 packed cups soft herbs such as basil, parsley or mint leaves (or a combination), plus more to serve
  • 1/3 cup roasted unsalted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons), plus more for serving
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (or grated hard cheese like pecorino or Parmesan)
  • Red-pepper flakes, to serve


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the edamame and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until just tender. Using a slotted spoon or ladle, remove the edamame and place in a colander. Rinse under cold water, then allow to drain and cool.

2. To the same water (top it up with hot tap water if needed), add the pasta. Cook according to package instructions.

3. Meanwhile, to a food processor or high-speed blender, add the cooled edamame, garlic, herbs and seeds and blitz for 8 to 10 seconds until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the motor running, trickle in the olive oil and 2 to 3 tablespoons of water, and blitz until it resembles a thick paste. (It doesn’t need to be smooth, some texture is preferred.) Stir in 3 tablespoons lemon juice, nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon of salt and a few pinches of black pepper. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice until you are happy with the balance.

4. When the pasta is ready, reserve 2 cups of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Place the pot back on medium heat and add the edamame pesto, along with 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Stir until the pesto and water has emulsified, then add the pasta and stir to coat. If it looks dry, add just enough pasta cooking water for the sauce to look loose.

5. To serve, finish with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, a scatter of red-pepper flakes and a few torn herbs.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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