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The best tips for making a shrimp platter include creating a good presentation for the occasion. Considering what guests would enjoy for flavoring, dips or accent foods as well as the tone or theme of the party such as elegant or tropical can keep the cook in the right direction planning-wise. A classic party may suggest a shrimp ring, while a more creative occasion such as an art exhibit could call for a more unique approach to a seafood platter. It helps to remember that platters for serving shrimp don't necessarily have to be round or even made from dishware.
For example, serving fried shrimp in a wicker basket lined with paper towels may be just the right touch for casual backyard entertaining. For an elegant indoor dinner party, using fancy picks to skewer cooked shrimp with other foods and presenting these on a sophisticated, footed dish would be a better choice. To create an Asian theme for a shrimp platter, using rectangular dishware individually on a large tray, or with dipping sauces and chopsticks added, can look interesting.
To celebrate an event creatively, shrimp picks that look like tiny flags may be used. A company logo, bride and groom's names or other text and images may be used on customized picks. Classic shrimp rings are easy to do if a shallow dish is used with which to "hook" each seafood piece to the edge to create a circle. Dipping sauce may be placed in the center of the shrimp platter with perhaps one or two concentric circles of other dipping foods such as fresh vegetable pieces and/or small cocktail breads.
Fresh lemon wedges, with their bold yellow color, can look attractive on any type of shrimp platter, including classic ones. "Sculpted" fresh vegetables such as radish roses skewered on top of a large shrimp on a cocktail pick can look appealing, as can a cube of melon or a cherry tomato added on top. For a more elegant approach to making a shrimp platter, thin cooked meat slices such as prosciutto may be wrapped around the center of each seafood piece.
Tropical themed parties often call for a more lively presentation as well as using foods that suit the theme. Shrimp skewered with fresh pineapple slices can be a refreshing choice to serve on a bamboo platter. Sweet and sour and/or hot sauce dips could accompany tropical themed shrimp platters.