This is a CLASSIC Low-Country dish; an appetizer that appears on ANY high-end Charleston appetizer menu. The term 'pickled' often puts people off; these shrimp do NOT taste like dill pickles at all. Just cooked and marinated in a tangy herb blend, it's more like a vinaigrette.
If there is one good thing we have here in the Deep South, it's shrimp. Gulf shrimp are pretty hard to beat, and can be bought for REALLY cheap here. (IRONY: the state of Alabama doesn't have a single Bubba Gump restaurant).
Though Saveur published this recipe for October 2011, this is really more of a dish better suited for warm weather, as it's served chilled. And, even though Alabama woke up to 40 degree weather this morning, I knew I HAD to have some pickled shrimp TODAY. Thanks to having a shrimp-allergic BF, I don't even have to share (I'm sorry, C.)!!
adapted from Saveur
2 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
2 quarts water
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/2 medium yellow or Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/4 tsp whole allspice berries
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup packed, chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 bay leaves
Bring the Old Bay and the water to a boil; add the shrimp and reduce the heat to low. Cook shrimp JUST until pink, about 2 minutes. Drain and chill in ice water. Drain again.
Meanwhile, grind the celery seeds and allspice in a spice grinder or with a mortar & pestle. Transfer to a spouted cup and stir in the oil, lemon juice, parsley, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic and bay leaves.
Layer the chilled & drained shrimp with the onion slices in a 1-quart container. Pour the oil mixture over to cover. If the shrimp aren't fully covered, you can add additional oil and lemon juice or cider vinegar. Place a lid on the container and chill overnight, GENTLY stirring on occasion (do NOT shake the container).
Serve alone, with cold soba noodles, or atop salad or crusty bread slices.