Monday, May 17, 2021

Shrimp Chesapeake #Recipe by Maya Corrigan

Old Bay seasoning gives a unique flavor to Chesapeake Bay specialties.

My Five-Ingredient Mysteries are set in the area where this blend of spices is used when cooking seafood and chicken. The seasoning is sprinkled on popcorn, fries, and deviled eggs. You can also add it to slaw and even a Bloody Mary. In the first book in my series, By Cook or by Crook, you'll find a recipe for crab cakes made with Old Bay.

Eating shellfish Chesapeake Bay style means getting your hands dirty. Hard shell crabs make the most mess. Crab houses serve them on picnic tables covered with brown packing paper (or even newspapers). Instead of napkins on the table, you get a roll of paper towels. Spiced shrimp are usually also on the menu at these eateries. The shrimp are far easier to cook at home than hard-shell crabs and you can serve them on a plate because, unlike crabs, they don’t require you to use a mallet to dig out the meat.

You cook the shrimp with the shell on. You then peel and devein the shrimp before serving. Or you can do what fish and crab houses around the bay do, and what I do at home--let the person eating the shrimp do the peeling.

I modified the recipe that appears on the Old Bay tin to make shrimp for two as a main course.


10 ounces of large shrimp (25-35 per pound gives you 7-9 shrimp per person)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning (more if you like spicy food, less if you don’t)

Combine the vinegar, water, and Old Bay seasoning. Bring the mix to a boil in a pot. Add the shrimp, stir, and cover the pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes and drain the shrimp. Cook longer if you use larger shrimp, but be careful not to overcook because the shrimp will lose their taste and become tough.


Serve the shrimp warm or cold with cocktail sauce, either store-bought or homemade. An easy cocktail sauce has three ingredients.

Cocktail Sauce

1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp prepared horseradish (If you don’t like spicy, start with 1/2 Tbsp and add more) 

Sample the mixture and increase the amount of any ingredient you need to make the sauce to your taste. 

👉 Do you have a favorite local dish? 👈

Maya Corrigan writes the Five-Ingredient Mysteries featuring café manger Val and her live-wire grandfather solving murders in a Chesapeake Bay town. Maya lives in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. Before writing crime fiction, she taught American literature, writing, and detective fiction at Northern Virginia Community College and Georgetown University. When not reading and writing, she enjoys theater, travel, trivia, cooking, and crosswords.

Visit her website to sign up for her newsletter. One subscriber wins a book each time a newsletter goes out. Check out the easy recipes, mystery history and trivia, and a free culinary mystery story on the website.

Five-Ingredient Mysteries in Order

1. By Cook or by Crook: Val and Granddad adjust to a new life spiced with a local murder.
2. Scam Chowder: Granddad is in the soup after a scammer targeting retirees goes face down in his chowder.
3. Final Fondue:  Val, Granddad, and their house guests plumb the dark side of love.
4. The Tell-Tale Tarte: Murder among Poe fans leads to a local “House of Usher” and Poe’s grave in Baltimore.
5. S’more Murders: The Titanic memorial dinner Val caters aboard a yacht has a fatal outcome.
6. Crypt Suzette: A haunted house and a haunting manuscript help Val solve a murder among aspiring writers.
7. Gingerdead Man: A Christmas Carol ghost commits murder during a Dickens of a holiday festival.

“Granddad is a hoot and his jobs as a food reviewer and part-time detective provide endless possibilities for fun and murder . . . Charming.” —Kirkus Review

Plenty of red herrings, mixed motives, and recipes for foodies make for a spirited holiday cozy.”—Kirkus Review

“Suspects abound and the puzzle solution is deftly handled in this charming cozy . . . With recipes included, this is definitely a starter for fans of Diane Mott Davidson, Lou Jane Temple, and Virginia Rich.” – Library Journal 


  1. I love peeling and eating the shrimp at the table. Somehow it just seems to make it a party!

  2. Thank you for your comment, Amy. I agree it's like a party, maybe because it takes so long, to peel and eat the shrimp. It's like fondue, which also brings people together over a table for quite a while.

  3. As far as cooking at home it's Slippery Pot Pie. Restaurant's it was Crab Cakes at BJ'S in Ocean City, but now that they are gone it's Crab Mac N Cheese from Shenanigans in OC.

    1. I'm not familiar with Slipper Pot Pie. I'll look it up. Thanks, Sue.

  4. As far as cooking at home it's Slippery Pot Pie. Restaurant's it was Crab Cakes at BJ'S in Ocean City, but now that they are gone it's Crab Mac N Cheese from Shenanigans in OC.

  5. I've gotten so lazy that peeling shrimp seems like too much trouble when you can buy them without the shells!
    We used to joke that my mother was very skimpy with shrimp and never bought enough. This was the woman who got one large pizza for 5 people to share! And one was a preteen who could eat a whole pizza by himself!!!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Libby. I'm fine with peeling my own shrimp as long as everyone else at the table is peeling their own! :-)

  6. Even out here in Montana, we LOVE Old Bay!

    1. Yeah! It used to be hard to find outside of the Mid-Atlantic.

  7. We love Old Bay on fries here in NJ! It's also great on shrimp like you show here. Yum!

    1. I haven't tried it on fries, but I will. Thanks for commenting, Tina.

  8. Have used this recipe for years. It’s the best!

  9. I'm going to try this recipe. I love boiled shrimp and I have some Old Bay Seasoning. 3labsmom(at)gmail(dot)com