Italian Style Shrimp Cocktail Mom's Recipe

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Or Mom, The Late Margaret Ann Fanelli Colenzo Shrimp Recipe

My mom Margaret, back in 1959, geesh, where did the time go? And me, not so young anymore! I still can't believe she's been gone since 1999. I will always miss her. Her cooking skills were amazing, simple and always the best, as I am sure you all have great memories made with your families. Miss her all the time just allot more lately, its always those times that you do something, you just wished they were here to see...thanks mom for the wonderful memories...I will always love what you left behind.

One of my very favorite appetizers, especially by the pool, at the beach, or on any vacation. I actually order two on every cruise we take, (I know what a oinker I am!) Fresh tiger extra large shrimp steamed, with garlic flavors in the shrimp, cold and crisp with a great cocktail sauce, I can never get enough. My mom(the late Margaret Ann Fanelli Colenzo) taught me how to make shrimp this way, and will always be a personal favorite of mine in my lifetime! Mom made this with medium size shrimps, and we had so many more of them in a huge bowl than I make, since I use the extra large tiger shrimp. Living and growing up in Upstate NY, Utica area, we had these once a year, at Christmas. Nope there was no pool, just lots of snow and rain as I remember it but times were the best back then with everyone still around. These were a delicacy for us and savored for the holiday season, not much money around back then. Luckily living in Florida, we get them for around $4.00 a pound here, an get an abundance of these little crustaceans often. I dedicate this post to my mom, with love always I miss you! Hope you all enjoy it too!

I for one, love the lemon over my shrimp, you can leave it out if you don't like the taste. Mom use to say, it keeps it white and cleans the shrimp while it's boiling.

The ice underneath the lettuce will keep it fresh and crisp!

Have ice ready for steamed shrimp. Immediately the shrimp onto the ice to chill until the sauce it made.

Shrimp Preparation:
1 lemon, halved
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 cayenne pepper and black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
24 extra raw cleaned large tiger shrimp with tail-on

Cocktail sauce:
1/2 cup chili sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
1/2 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon Italian Parsley chopped

For garnish
Romaine Lettuce leaves
lemon wedge
ice cubes
parsley leaves

Clean shrimp leaving tails on. Boil shrimp in a heavy duty saucepan adding all seasonings in the shrimp prepartion above, till pink. Immediately pour over ice filled strainer leaving just the ice to cool shrimp. While they are icing. Prepare cocktail sauce. Line a small dessert bowl or martini glass, clean clear bowl with Romaine lettuce, add ice cubes on the bottom, more romaine lettuce leaves to hide ice. Pour cocktail sauce on top of lettuce. Line shrimp around bowl and lemon wedges, pour more cocktail sauce in the middle on top of lettuce leaves, add three more shrimp tails up swimming in the middle, garnish with lemon and parsley.


  1. it looks amazing ,claudia and the post is full of deep emotions!very wonderful job!
    rest in piece for the last margaret!

  2. Shrimp cocktail is one of my go to things when I'm at a restaurant to order, healthy and delish! great pics Claudia :)

  3. What a great post Claudia. I am a big lover of Shrimp Cocktail and could eat it as my main course too.

    I am convinced when you are in NY again we need to meet up and share some good food together! We both seem to have a strong family connection to those we held dear (and hold dear) to our hearts!

  4. Hi, Claudia,

    Lovely post and great recipe. I really love shrimp, even more than lobster. I've been cooking for a looooong time, and my favorite recipe of all is Shrimp Creole. I always make it on my birthday. It's better than any restaurant meal.

    Thanks for leaving such a nice comment on my Eggs Fried in Breadcrumbs post and adding me as a friend on FBF. Your reason for starting a blog was the same as mine - have your recipes in one place as a sort of legacy.

    I have to check out the rest of your recipes. Hope to get to know you better.

  5. What a great photo of you and your mum. Ever since I was a little girl, shrimp cocktail has been one of my favorite appetizers. This post made my mouth water.

  6. Every Friday I post a Happy Hour recipe. I can't wait to try this. Delicious!

  7. I love shrimp cocktail and yours looks so good I just want to reach into my screen and pluck out one of those shrimps and eat it.

  8. looks delicious, wonderful pictures :)

  9. I love shrimps ^_^ Wonderful pictures and very appetizing cocktail. Great ^_^

  10. Nice shrimp cocktail! It looks amazing and the presentation is spectacular!!!!

  11. Food, memories. Family... life! GREG

  12. looks great can't beat a good shrimp cocktail your mum sounds lovely, Rebecca

  13. I cannot think of a better prep for shrimp for this type of appetizer - your Mom's sauce is so similar to my Momma's - must have been of the times... it's a favorite of mine too

  14. Great recipe and wonderful to read about your mom too!

  15. Nothing better of a polychromy of flavors and colors, love this shrimp cocktail.
    Your photo as little girl is pure cuteness :)

    Have a great week,


  16. What a sweet post. A lot rung true for me in the article. I was born in 1959, same year as the photo. I lost my mom in 1997, just a few short years before your mom. And my mom always ordered the Shrimp Cocktail when we would go to The Nugget in Reno. I always associate shrimp cocktails with my mom. Thumbs up!

  17. Shrimp cocktail is the best. Growing up in Maryland, it was something I grew up with. I live in Florida as well and able to get shrimp easily and all year round. Lucky us! A very nice post about memories of your mom as well.

  18. What a sweet tribute to your Mom. I love shrimp too - these look delicious!

  19. Yes time flies...such a cute picture, moms are always missed - lucky to have mine still...hmm shrimps, you can never get tired of shrimps, great cocktail item for sure!

  20. I adore shrimp cocktail, any time anywhere! In an increasingly complicated world it truly is the simple recipes and the fond the fond memories that ultimately make us happy, yes?

    I love the old photo of you and your mom. Very precious.

  21. I am going to have to try his recipe. We make shrimp cocktail one or twice a month. The recipe I use makes a lot of sauce and I always throw half of it out.


We love hearing from you, please message me with any typos or concerns at and we love praise too!