Elegant Holiday Shrimp Cocktail

Here is a great holiday appetizer, dressed up to impress your friends and family during the holiday season. The parmesean bowls make for an elegant presentation, and are good for other applications as well.

36 medium shrimp, cooked shelled and deveined
1 cup chili sauce
2 TBS lemon juice
1 TBS horseradish
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce
shredded lettuce
1 12 to 16 oz. block good parmesean cheese (you CANNOT use the canned stuff here, it will not work)

Keep shrimp refrigerated until ready to serve. Combine the chili sauce, lemon juice, horseradish, dijon, and worcestershire in a bowl until well mixed, and refrigerate.

To make the bowls preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shred the parmesean on the coarse side of a cheese grater and divide into 2 ounce piles. If you have a silicone baking pad, place it onto a large cookie sheet, if not, a nice clean flat baking sheet will do. You WILL NOT need to grease the pan, the parmesean is very oily when cooked. Place two regular sized cereal type bowls upside down on paper towels in your kitchen. Make sure you have two good sized spatulas on hand as well. Place two of the piles of cheese onto the baking sheet and spread them out into circles about 6-7" wide. Make sure the cheese is evenly distributed, and that there are no “holes” in your circle. You want a good even and flat circle. Also ensure that you leave 3 of 4" between the piles, as the cheese will melt a bit and spread. Place the pan in the oven on the middle rack and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Unlike most baking recipes, you will want to start opening the oven and checking them regularly after 5 minutes, as the cheese cooks fast. When the cheese has turned slightly brown, has spread a bit, and looks “gooey”, remove the pan from the oven. Immediately take your spatulas and start gently working around the edges of one of the piles. My advice is that if you’ve never done this, start by cooking only one pile at a time to get a feel for this. The cheese will be very gooey, but hardens quickly. Every 15 seconds or so continue sliding the spatulas under the ends of the circle until you can safely get them under it and keep it supported without breaking the cheese. Transfer the circle of cheese to the bowl and drape it over the bottom, so that it droops down the outside of the bowl. You can gently press the sides to conform to your bowl. Let it rest for about 5 minutes, until hardened. Gently remove the cheese bowl from the bottom of the cereal bowl. Repeat with the remaining piles of cheese until you have 6 (for a 12 oz. block) or 8 (for a 16 oz. block) bowls. To assemble, place bowl on a serving plate. In the center, place a souffle cup of the cocktail sauce in the center of the bowl. Surround this with some of the shredded lettuce. Finally, place 6 of the cooked shrimp hanging evenly spaced around the side of the bowl (or more, if you like). It may sound like a bit of work, but it is rather easy once you get your hands into it. The bowls are of course edible, and look very pretty when finished. They keep for 2 or 3 days stored in an airtight container. I also use them to serve my caesar salads in, but you could serve any type of salad in it. I hope you enjoy it, and I welcome any questions or comments. Have a Merry Christmas!