To make a shrimp cocktail, use fresh cleaned and cooked cold shrimp and cocktail sauce. There are many pre-made sauces available, but making one from scratch takes only a few extra minutes.
It is easiest to buy shrimp that has already been cleaned, cooked and de-veined as these steps require a lot of extra work. If you buy the shrimp frozen, defrost them by sitting them in a colander in the sink.
Next, make the cocktail sauce. Chef Emeril's recipe combines 1 cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and a few dashes of salt and pepper. Cocktail sauce tastes best when chilled, so after mixing the ingredients, store in a jar and put it in the fridge. A variation on the basic cocktail sauce is to add Tabasco or other hot sauce for an extra kick.
When you are ready to serve the dish, place the cocktail sauce in a small bowl and arrange the shrimp around it on a plate. Serve with lemon slices. Another way to serve shrimp cocktail is to pour the cocktail sauce into a margarita or martini glass. Then dangle the shrimp and lemons around the rim of the glass.