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New Year's Buffet Appetizer Recipe

Looking for a quick and easy showstopper appetizer for the New Year’s Eve Buffet? Since almost everyone loves shrimp, a giant Fresh Shrimp Bowl will be a hit with any group. The shrimp bowl can be assembled from start to finish in about 15 minutes, but will garner oohs and aahs since it’s pretty enough to use as a centerpiece.
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High quality frozen cooked shrimp is always available. Warehouse stores carry beautiful large shrimp in 2 pound packages, which is about 60 shrimp, at reasonable prices. Of course fresh shrimp cooked just before serving is best, but that’s not always possible, especially in areas where seafood must be shipped in, making it very expensive. At a buffet with several appetizers, plan on an average of 5 large shrimp per person; plan on more for smaller gatherings or where there are fewer appetizers.

For those planning on serving this appetizer often, large shell serving bowls, either white or clear high-quality plastic, are readily available at restaurant supply stores. Pewter shell bowls are also available at department stores.

25 Servings

4 pounds large frozen cooked shrimp (around 30 per pound), the kind that is already shelled and cleaned with tails on

1 batch Cocktail Sauce, recipe below
2 lemons
1 bunch parsley
5 pounds ice
  1. Rinse the shrimp in cold water and inspect; remove any black veins or other unsightly things.

  2. Place the cleaned, rinsed shrimp in Ziploc-type bags and refrigerate.

  3. Pour the cocktail sauce into a small bowl; cover and refrigerate.

  4. Slice 1 of the lemons and cut the other into 8 to 12 thin wedges.

  5. Wash the parsley and break into sprigs.

  6. Assembly: Fill a shell bowl or other serving bowl with ice.

  7. Press the bowl of cocktail sauce in the center of the bowl.

  8. Place shrimp over the ice around the cocktail sauce.

  9. Cut each of the lemon slices to the center and twist; arrange the lemon twists around the edges of the display and the cocktail sauce.

  10. Arrange the lemon wedges and parsley sprigs decoratively around the shrimp.



Cocktail Sauce


Makes a heaping cup

1 cup catsup
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

Mix all ingredients together and store in the refrigerator.

Amount Per Serving (about 5 shrimp and 1 tablespoon cocktail sauce)

Calories 70 Calories from Fat 7
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 10% Protein 87% Carb. 3%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 1 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 142 mg
Sodium 166 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 15 g

Vitamin A 3% Vitamin C 7% Calcium 0% Iron 13%


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Content copyright © 2013 by Karen Hancock. All rights reserved.
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