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Eat Me: TJ’s Seafood Market Cocktail Shrimp

tj1by Steven Doyle

There are these triggers that set off imagery of a holiday season past. These can vary from delicious scents such as your favorite Christmas pie, the wafting trail of a roasting pheasant or the blast of fragrance from the tiny pine cone found on your tree as you begin dressing it for the season.  There are musical triggers as well. Hearing the first Christmas tune when it actually becomes seasonal proper that lifts you with the spirit of the season can be powerful, as are the visualizations such as seeing the jolly man engaging a wide-eyed child filled with hope, and for us… a large platter of cocktail shrimp from TJ’s Seafood Market. There is also nothing more divine that a New Year’s platter or to from our favorite fishmonger. 

We had a chance to stop in to TJ’s  yesterday to snag our holiday platter that come replete with a delicious remoulade and a slightly piquant red cocktail sauce, plenty of slice lemon and a beautiful bouquet of garnish. These are for some reason the tastiest shrimp you will ever enjoy. We wondered why, and TJ’s owner Jon Alexis filled us in.

“It is really about finding the best shrimp there is, and tap water,” said Alexis on our recent visit. Sounds simple, but really?

“The flavor is shrimp comes from the shells, so we painstakingly cook our shrimp in the shell then peel them all by hand. That is how you keep the most flavor in shrimp.”

Sounds simple, but considering the thousands of pounds of shrimp TJ’s move throughout the holiday season, that is a monumental task.

Score these shrimp for your party or gathering. You may also find caviar, oysters, lobster, smoked salmon, crab, crab cakes, dips, gumbo and more. A little pro-tip, the smoked salmon and the chardonnay poached salmon is silly good at TJ’s.

You may also grab party platters, seared and seasoned tenderloins, stuffed mushrooms. These will make your New Year’s party first rate. And don’t forget the tiny lobster roll platters that come in either two dozen or four dozen sizes. There are two locations to help you with those last minute plans.

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