Pickled Shrimp with Creamy Spinach Dip

James Holmes grew up in Texas but didn't learn how to make pickled shrimp, a Gulf specialty, until he took a job at a New York City restaurant.

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
  • Time(Other): Plus 8 hr marinating


  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 2 pounds large shrimp (16 to 20 per pound)—shelled and deveined, tails left on
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound spinach—stemmed, washed, dried and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, garlic, jalapeños, bay leaves, crushed red pepper, salt, peppercorns and allspice berries and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer the shrimp and liquid to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 10 hours.

  2. In a large saucepan, boil the cream over high heat until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer the spinach mixture to a bowl and let cool. Stir in the crème fraîche and lemon juice and season with salt.

  3. Using a slotted spoon, lift the shrimp and jalapeños from the marinade and arrange on a platter. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve the spinach dip in a bowl alongside.

Make Ahead

The spinach dip can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Beer Tangy hefeweizen: Harpoon UFO.

Wine Fresh, citrusy Spanish Verdejo.

Contributed By Photo © Jody Horton Published June 2011

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