Buying a LOT of Jumbo Shrimp cocktail in NYC
I'm throwing a big party for 100 people and looking for recommendations where to buy a lot of frozen (or freshly steamed) well-priced jumbo peeled shrimp -- the stuff for making up platters with cocktail sauce.
Normally I buy raw seafood from Chinatown but I can't face de-veining them all of those myself. The pre-cooked colossal shrimp(16-20 size) cost $24/lb freshly steamed at freshdirect, which would set me back almost $300 for this amount.
Any first-hand recommendations for fishmarket wholesale, or better sources? If I get pre-cooked frozen shrimp, do they need to be blanched to be revived for eating, or simply thawed?
check out central fish on 39th and ninth or sea breeze (think that's the name) on 40th and ninth av. very good sort of wholesale markets with good quality seafood.
trader joes and costco both sell frozen peeled and deveined shrimp - either raw or pre-cooked.
If you use precooked get the largest possible - they seem to work better - let them defrost in the fridge overnight and toss with some fresh lemon juice, finely chopped fresh garlic & chopped fresh dill.
the restaurant supply places like Restaurant Depot and Jetro (cousin stores) sell cases of 4 x 4 or 5# frozen blocks - which if they are running a sale are quite cheap.
Size wise look for at least 25-30's (that's 25 - 30 to thebpound - they are bagged like that eg jumbo 10-12)
this will also help you figure out quantities.
another thought is to do peel and eat shrimp
pros - make your guests do the work and slow down their comsumption
cheaper and pretty to for presentation
might look cheap or cheesy unless presented right (do a whole nautical theme with life preserver, homemade ice sculptures (see martha stewarts old entertaining books - using jello ring mold with flowers or sea shells encased in the ice.
also when displaying and leaving out for a length of time, make sure you display on ice or in cool setting - don't want your guests to get upset tummies or worse...
Thanks for the excellent suggestions -- the lemon & dill toss especially. I suddenly remembered I have a carp-shaped aspic mold, and will start freezing & collecting some decorative ice blocks with lemon slices or other floating things in it this weekend!