Pickled Shrimp with Creamy Spinach Dip. Photo © Jody Horton
© Jody Horton

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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  1. 3 cups water
  2. 2 cups white wine vinegar
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  5. 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
  6. 2 bay leaves
  7. 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  8. 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  9. 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  10. 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  11. 2 pounds large shrimp (16 to 20 per pound)—shelled and deveined, tails left on


  1. 1 cup heavy cream
  2. 1 pound spinach—stemmed, washed, dried and leaves coarsely chopped
  3. 1 cup crème fraîche
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  5. Salt
  6. Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  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.