My True Seafood Lover Made for Me: A Shrimp Christmas Tree!

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On the first day of Christmas
my true love made for me:
A Shrimp Christmas Tree!

Forget the tray of cookies. Treat Santa with fresh seafood under the Christmas tree!

How to Make a Shrimp Christmas Tree

We’re not talking the typical shrimp cocktail here people, picture something more, much more. Imagine your guests walking into your home and their jaws drop as they feast their eyes on a centerpiece like no other. Standing impressively in the the center of your table is a grand display of the juiciest jumbo shrimp they have ever seen, in a festive Christmas tree arrangement. That’s right, plump jumbo shrimp elegantly arranged into a towering Christmas tree.  All you need to dazzle your guests are a few items, 4 lbs of shrimp, and 35 minutes of prep time. And maybe some spiked eggnog!

Ready to make a statement? Follow these directions:

Gather your materials:

  • 1 Styrofoam cone 30” high
  • 1 Styrofoam square 12” x 12” x 1”
  • 1 Box round toothpicks
  • 4 lbs shrimp of super colossal shrimp
  • 4 bunches curly endive
  • 1 to 2 tbs. sea or kosher salt
  • Ribbon, holly or small ornament

Get Cooking:

Thaw shrimp, if frozen.  Drop shrimp into boiling salted water. Once water comes to a boil again, simmer only until shrimp is opaque, approximately 4-5 minutes.  Do not overcook.  Drain immediately and put in a batch of ice to stop the cooking process. If you are using shell on shrimp, peel and remove the dark vein by making a slice down the back of shrimp and rinse.  Refrigerate shrimp.

Now Build that Tree of Shrimp!

Step 1. Separate and wash and dry endive. Place cone in center of Styrofoam square and draw a circle around the base of the cone.  Cut out circle and insert cone into base.

Step 2. Starting at the outside edge of the base and work up, covering base and cone with overlapping leaves of endive.  Secure leaves to cone with toothpick halves.  Fully cover with greens to resemble a Christmas tree.

Step 3. Attach shrimp with toothpicks, placing shrimp in even rows encircling the tree.  Top with a velvet bow and sprig of holly or a small ornament.  Serve with lemon and cocktail sauce for dipping. Serves 12.


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