Southern Uncovered with the Lee Bros.

JADE SHRIMP COCKTAIL

4 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 lbs headless large shell-on shrimp (26-30 per pound)
1 lb tomatillos (husks removed) or green tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 scallions, green tops only
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
2 tbsp prepared horseradish, drained
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper                      

Bring 2 quarts water, 2 tsp salt and cayenne pepper to a boil in a 4-6 quart pot.  Remove from heat, add the shrimp and cook (off the heat) for 1 minute, until they're bright pink-orange and slightly firm. Drain and rinse with cold water to keep the shrimp from cooking further and to make peeling easier. Peel the shrimp, leaving the tails on fro grasping (this takes about 8 minutes)
Refrigerate the shrimp for 15 minutes to cool them further.

While the shrimp are chilling, place the tomatillos in a food processor and pulse to form a smooth puree. Drain the puree through a medium-mesh strainer, reserving the strained tomatillo water. Return the puree from the strainer to the food processor (you need not wash the bowl) and add the scallion tops, avocado, horseradish, honey, lemon juice, remaining 2 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tbsp of reserved tomatillo water.
Process to a smooth puree. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and adjust the consistency of the sauce as needed with more of the reserved tomatillo water.  Transfer the sauce to a ramekin or small serving bowl.  
(the sauce will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator)

Serve the chilled shrimp with the dipping sauce.

PICKLED GRAPES WITH ROSEMARY AND CHILES

6 cups stemmed mixed red and green seedlessgrapes (about 2 lbs)
2 cups distilled white vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp sugar
3 gloves garlic, crushed and peeled
Leaves from 1 four0inch sprig rosemary
1/2 tsp crushed dried red chile flakes

Pack the grapes into 3 pint-size glass containers with lids.  Pour the vinegar and 1 cup water into a saucepan, set it over medium-high heat, and add the salt, sugar, garlic, rosemary, and chile flakes.  When the mixture starts to simmer, remove the pan from the heat and divide the hot brine among the pints of grapes. Cover loosely and let cool to room temperature.  Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before serving.  The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.

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