Too scorching to even turn on your stove? Here are 3 cold shrimp dish recipes, plus a summer salad

"Other than an occasional pot of peas, we prefer dips, cold appetizers, finger foods, cold fruit and salads"

By Bibi Hutchings


Published July 6, 2023 3:30PM (EDT)

Bowl of fresh shrimp (Getty Images/Claudia Totir)
Bowl of fresh shrimp (Getty Images/Claudia Totir)

In "Bibi's Gulf Coast Kitchen," columnist Bibi Hutchings takes you on a culinary journey across the coastal south. Come for the great food writing, stay for the delicious recipes.

Every summer where I live, there is a period when nearly every conversation you have revolves around how hot it is. It is all we can talk about here when it gets hot like this. And at least once on any given sweltering summer day, someone will thoughtfully point out that "It's not the heat — it's the humidity." That person is not wrong, but it is odd that what I read on their sweaty face is something like disbelief or shock. 

We all know this heat is coming, just like hurricane season and everything else we either dread or look forward to. Most of us here have dealt with it every summer of our lives, but yet we all seem to be caught off guard and a bit surprised by just how bloomin' hot it gets each year. 

Like many around the country, we are in the middle of a heat wave, so maybe it is a little worse than usual for this time of year. Thankfully, neither my husband nor I have much of an appetite for hot food in the summer, so the kitchen is used more for prepping and assembling than for baking or extensive cooking. Other than an occasional pot of peas, we prefer dips, cold appetizers, finger foods, cold fruit and salads.

These are some of my favorite "party shrimp" recipes that are good all year round, but I love making a batch to have ready in the refrigerator for when it is truly too hot to cook.

I am also including a favorite salad recipe for this time of year when gardens and farmers markets are full of sweet corn, tomatoes, new potatoes and basil. It is dressed simply with olive oil, fresh lemon and a little salt and pepper and won't ruin your appetite for a little something sweet afterwards.   

Cook's Notes

Hands on time varies if you have to cook, peel and/or devein your shrimp.

-How to boil shrimp for these recipes: Rinse your fresh shrimp well then add them to a pot of boiling, salted water, just enough water to cover them. Cook only until they curl into a "c" shape, about 4-5 minutes for medium shrimp, then cool them down quickly to stop them from continuing to cook.

-How to peel boiled shrimp: Once cool enough to handle, you "pull, peel and pinch:" Pull the head off (hopefully, like me, you purchase yours with this first step done for you), peel the shell off (starting with the legs and going around) and pinch the tail to remove it from the shrimp.

-How to devein shrimp: Oftentimes, you don't need to devein a medium sized shrimp, which is the size called for in these recipes. But, if you can see it, you should remove it. Although not harmful to eat, it is unappetizing to see. Use a sharp paring knife to make a small slit lengthwise down the middle of the back of the shrimp (where you see the vein) and run under water to remove. Be careful not to slice the shrimp in half. You only need a very shallow slice.

-Actual cook time for medium sized shrimp is less than 5 minutes, but these will all need to marinate overnight or longer.

-These recipes can all be halved for a smaller group.


Cocktail Party Shrimp
15 to 20 servings
Prep Time
12 hours 10 minutes


1 cup neutral oil, such as canola, vegetable or safflower

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

8 to 9 bay leaves

2 tablespoons capers, plus 2 tablespoons juice (from jar)

1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed

Salt and pepper to taste

3 pounds medium shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined

1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced

2 to 3 limes, thinly sliced



  1. Combine oil, vinegar, bay leaves, capers and juice, celery seed, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

  2. Add the cooked shrimp to the marinade, stirring to coat thoroughly.

  3. Refrigerate overnight. Stir occasionally. 

  4. To serve, remove the bay leaves and drain. Arrange in a pretty serving bowl or dish with toothpicks or cocktail forks. 


Spicy Shrimp in Mustard Sauce
15 to 20 servings
Prep Time
24 hours 10 minutes


3 pounds medium shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 1/2 cups chopped celery

1/2 cup tarragon vinegar

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

1 cup olive oil

6 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 to 4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes**

Salt and pepper to taste



  1. Place cooked shrimp in a bowl and set aside. 

  2. Combine the remaining ingredients, stir well and pour over shrimp.

  3. Cover and refrigerate at least 24 to 36 hours before serving, stirring every so often.

  4. To serve, drain off marinade and arrange on a pretty dish with toothpicks or cocktail forks

Cook's Notes

-The longer these marinate, the better they are — but they can get quite spicy!


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Marinated Shrimp with Artichokes and Mushrooms
12 to 15 servings
Prep Time
12 hours 


2 pounds medium shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined

2 to 14 oz cans artichoke hearts, drained

1 to 2 containers small button or cremini mushrooms, halved*

3/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup tarragon vinegar

2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard

Hefty pinch of sugar

Salt and pepper to taste



  1. Combine, shrimp, artichokes and mushrooms in a large bowl and set aside.

  2. Stir together the oil, water, vinegar, garlic and remaining seasonings, then pour over shrimp and vegetables.

  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

  4. To serve, drain off the marinade and into a serving dish. Serve with toothpicks or cocktail forks.

Cook's Notes

-Feel free to parboil or precook the mushrooms before adding them if you like, but make sure to dry them before adding them to the mix.


Summer Salad
6 to 8 servings
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes


1 pound small red new potatoes, scrubbed clean

5 to 6 ears of fresh shucked sweet corn on the cob

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved 

1 small red onion, peeled and sliced very thinly

1/2 to 1 cup or the leaves of a nice bunch of fresh basil

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste



  1. Boil potatoes in salted water until just tender enough to fork, about 12 minutes. Place potatoes in an ice bath to cool down.

  2. Add corn on the cob to the same boiling water. (You may need to break the cobs in half so they fit in your pot.) Cook corn 7 to 8 minutes or to your liking. Move to ice bath when done.

  3. Drain and dry potatoes once cooled and cut in half or in quarters to make bite-size and place in a large salad bowl.

  4. Drain and dry corn, then cut kernels off the cob using a sharp knife. Add to salad bowl with potatoes.

  5. Add remaining vegetables and basil leaves. Cover and refrigerate until time to serve.

  6. When ready to serve, add oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper and gently toss.

By Bibi Hutchings

Bibi Hutchings, a lifelong Southerner, lives along a quiet coastal Alabama bay with her cat, Zulu, and husband, Tom. She writes about the magical way food evokes memories, instantly bringing you back to the people, places and experiences of your life. Her stories take you all around the South and are accompanied with tried-and-true recipes that are destined to become a part of your memory-making as you share them with your friends and family.         

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