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Savannah Pickled Shrimp


4 tablespoons seafood boiling spice, divided

2 large bay leaves (crumbled if dried, chopped if fresh) divided

6 large garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed, divided

1 large rib celery (including the leafy top) thinly sliced


2 pounds small to medium shrimp

1 cup white wine vinegar

½ cup Vidalia sweet onions

Strips of zest from 2 large lemons and thin slices from 1 of them

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

4-6 fresh lettuce leaves

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. Add 3 quarts water to a large, stainless steel pot. Add half the boiling spice, 1 bay leaf, 3 garlic cloves, celery, and a small handful of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Increase heat and add shrimp, cover, and cook 2 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water, peel, and devein the shrimp.
  2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring vinegar, onions, remaining bay leaf, spice, and garlic to a full boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Let mixture cool slightly then pour over shrimp. Add lemon zest and juice and toss well. Let cool completely, then cover and transfer to refrigerator. Let shrimp marinate for at least 4 hours before serving. They will keep in fridge up to 2 weeks.
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