Pickled Shrimp with Okra

by Min Merrell

The pickled shrimp with okra recipe from our Jack Daniel’s cookbook is one of our favorite party recipes. We serve it all year long for the holidays, any cocktail party, as a fun first course before a meaty entree, on the patio for a summer cook-out, and armchair tailgating. It always fits in–fancy or casual. Use the freshest shrimp you can find. Frozen shrimp are likely the freshest way to go if you live in a landlocked state as we do in Tennessee. And those frozen bags that are precooked with shells and tails removed making it a snap to pull together. Stock up when you find them on sale.

Pickled Okra Party Shrimp looks especially fun in a big glass crock or jar with a lid set right on the buffet or coffee table. We guarantee a crowd will quickly gather. The vinegary onions and lemon slices are good eating and that tangy bite of hot pickled okra provides a pleasant surprise. Use a mandoline to slice the onions paper thin so they drape over your shrimp cracker for easy eating. And yes, you do need lots of bay leaves. Nice fresh ones will give the brine a little bit of a floral lift. Many pickled shrimp recipes cook the brine before tossing with the shrimp. We don’t bother and it sure doesn’t seem to matter. Just combine all the ingredients in your big jar and refrigerate for your party in the next day or two.

Fresh saltine crackers are the only way to deliver a bite of this appetizer so be sure to have plenty. Buttery crackers will not do. They must be crisp, a little salty, and simple. Serve the saltines right from the sleeves standing up in a tall basket or pot next to the shrimp jar.



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