Basic cocktail sauce contains only three ingredients: ketchup, prepared horseradish and hot sauce. Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice are common additions, while some recipes substitute chili sauce for ketchup and omit the hot sauce.
Variation in cocktail sauce recipes arises from the flexible ratio of basic ingredients and the selection of additives. For a basic recipe, Food Network recommends using 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, fresh lemon juice added to taste, and dashes of Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Mix and chill before serving.
Martha Stewart suggests substituting chili sauce for both ketchup and hot sauce, and increasing the amount of horseradish. For about the same amount of cocktail sauce as the Food Network recipe, mix 1/2 cup chili sauce, 1/4 cup horseradish, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, and salt and pepper. No Worcestershire sauce is added.
Cocktail sauce is commonly served as a condiment for shrimp or other seafood. To make 1 pound of shrimp, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl, while meanwhile bringing a large pot of salted water to boil. Boil the shrimp for three minutes, or until the shrimp becomes opaque, then drain. Transfer the shrimp to the ice bath until chilled, then drain and refrigerate. Serve with cocktail sauce.