I have to confess that I'm a shrimp cocktail lover, retro and old school as the appetizer is. It's so simple and elegant at the same time, and it's light enough that I don't feel like I'm spoiling my dinner if I help myself to one more shrimp.
While the classic ketchup-and-prepared-horseradish cocktail sauce will always have a special place in my heart, there are tons of other easy, delicious sauce combinations out there for shrimp cocktail. Here are five of my favorite sauces, and each only has two ingredients!
1. Curried Yogurt Sauce
This is a simple blend: start with 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon of curry powder, and lots of salt to bring out the flavors, then adjust as needed. Let this hang out in the refrigerator for a bit to let the curry powder mellow out and gently flavor the yogurt if you can. It's a tangy, creamy dip with a nice background hit of curry powder.
2. Sriracha Mayonnaise Sauce
We're not reinventing the wheel here because this combination just plain works, every time. Combine 1/4 cup mayo with 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce, then adjust with more hot sauce if you like it tangier or spicier. Poached shrimp dipped in this sauce reminds me of a tasty cold shrimp salad sandwich.
3. Ketchup-Mustard Sauce
Equal parts ketchup and mustard make this the shrimp cocktail sauce anyone can make since everything's already in the door of the refrigerator. I use Dijon mustard, but you can try a grainy, coarse mustard instead for some nice crunchy pops of mustard flavor.
4. Avocado Hot Sauce
For a chunkier, lighter sauce, mash 1/2 ripe avocado with 1 teaspoon of your favorite Mexican hot sauce. Taste and adjust with more hot sauce or salt as needed. This is a simple guacamole-like dip, with the hot sauce adding much-needed acidity to the rich, buttery avocado.
5. Sour Cream-Chipotle Sauce
This last dip is inspired by my love for California-style fish tacos that are topped with tangy slaw and a drizzle of Mexican crema or sour cream. Mix 1/4 cup sour cream with 1/4 teaspoon minced chipotles in adobo sauce, and season with plenty of salt. The chipotles add a nice smokiness to the sour cream, and you can add more of it if you want the dip even spicier.