Poached Shrimp with a Homemade Thousand Island Dressing You’ll Want to Slather on Everything

published Apr 22, 2022
christmas
Poached Shrimp with Thousand Island Dressing Recipe

Gently poached aromatic shrimp served with a tangy Thousand Island dressing

Serves 4 to 6

Prep25 minutes to 30 minutes

Cook2 minutes to 3 minutes

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Credit: Courtesy of Alexis deBoschnek

Maybe it stems from my mother’s love of dunking fries in mayonnaise (she’s Dutch, and it’s a thing), but when it comes to condiments, mayo rules supreme in my world. It makes just about everything better, from a slice of juicy, ripe tomato to a perfectly poached shrimp. And while I love that classic steak house–style appetizer, once I swapped out cocktail sauce for Thousand Island dressing — with lots of mayo, of course — there was no turning back.

Here, the sauce’s creaminess is cut by the acidity of the pickles and vinegar, which makes the whole thing balanced … and delicious. Besides, it’s also a great way to use up any half-empty condiment bottles hanging out in the back of the fridge. 

Burgers are an obvious choice for using up any extra Thousand Island dressing you might have left over, but I love it smeared on an eight-minute egg, slathered on corn cobs for elote, and served next to a good steak, too.

Shrimp can be poached in water and salt, but aromatics really enhance the flavor without adding much work. Nearly any combination of aromatics will serve — and this is a great place to use up what’s in your fridge. Garlic, onions, leeks, bay leaves, celery, parsley, and dill are all great add-ins.

To make the Thousand Island dressing, whisk the mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, garlic, and vinegar to combine. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 

To make the poached shrimp, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and a few handfuls of ice and set aside. Fill a medium pot with cold water. Add the salt, peppercorns, lemon peels, lemon juice, and wine, if using, to the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. The water should slowly come to a boil so there is time for the aromatics to infuse. 

Add the shrimp and remove the pot from the heat. Let the shrimp sit in the water for about 3 minutes, or until pink and opaque. Drain the shrimp through a colander, then transfer to the ice bath for at least 10 minutes. Drain the shrimp from the ice bath. 

The shrimp can be made up to 24 hours in advance and kept in the refrigerator in a sealed container. The Thousand Island dressing can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator in a sealed container. Serve the shrimp with Thousand Island dressing on the side.

Poached Shrimp with Thousand Island Dressing Recipe

Gently poached aromatic shrimp served with a tangy Thousand Island dressing

Prep time 25 minutes to 30 minutes

Cook time 2 minutes to 3 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

For the Thousand Island dressing:

  • 1

    clove garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons

    finely chopped dill pickles (from about 1/4 whole pickle)

  • 3/4 cup

    mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup

    ketchup

  • 2 teaspoons

    champagne, white wine, or distilled white vinegar

For the poached shrimp:

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 4 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    black peppercorns

  • 1/2 cup

    dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio (optional)

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    medium uncooked tail-on shrimp (36 to 40 per pound)

    Instructions

    Make the Thousand Island dressing:

    1. Mince 1 garlic clove. Finely chop until you have 2 tablespoons dill pickles. Place the garlic, pickles, 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup ketchup, and 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar in a small bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    Make the poached shrimp:

    1. Fill a medium pot with cold water. Remove the zest from 1 medium lemon with a vegetable peeler and add to the water. Halve and squeeze the juice from the lemon (through a small strainer if you want to remove the seeds too) into the water, then add the lemon halves into the pot.

    2. Add 4 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, and 1/2 cup dry white wine if using. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, peel and devein 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp if needed but leave the tails intact.

    3. Add the shrimp to the boiling water. Remove the pot from the heat. Let the shrimp sit in the water uncovered until pink and opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with cold water and a few handfuls of ice.

    4. Drain the shrimp through a colander. Transfer the shrimp to the ice bath and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Drain the shrimp again and pat dry with paper towels. Serve with the Thousand Island dressing on the side for dipping.

    Recipe Notes

    Make ahead: The shrimp can be cooked up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. The Thousand Island dressing can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.

    Recipe tips: If you are using unshelled shrimp, poach them with the shells on; then peel after cooling in the ice bath. Reuse the shrimp tails (and shells, if you used unshelled shrimp) and make a stock.

    Excerpted from TO THE LAST BITE by Alexis Deboschnek. Copyright © 2022. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.