December 04, 2008

how to make an ice bowl

throw another shrimp on the bowlie, mate

My favorite appetizer trick is to thaw a bag of frozen shrimp and serve it with cocktail sauce. Let’s face it, whether it’s a small party or a holiday bash, you’ve got a lot to stress about: cleaning the house, picking out music, making sure the martinis are ready to roll when guests arrive. The last thing you need is to assemble a hundred bite-size morsels.

But presentation is key when trying to spruce up a blah bag of shrimp, and the holidays call for extra special treatment. This ice bowl rocks the house as far as I’m concerned.

It’s fabulous at parties because it’s so adaptable, easy to make, and did I mention free? Fill it up with shrimp or crudités, and it will keep everything fresh and cool the whole night. Well, not quite the whole night; it does melt. But you have at least an hour and a half before the plate underneath floods.

What you'll need:

  • Water
  • 2 metal bowls
  • Beans or pie weights
  • 1 large plate
  • 1-pound bag frozen shrimp (or crudités)
  • Cocktail sauce (or your favorite crudités dipping sauce)

How to make one:

Fill a large metal bowl half way with water and place a smaller metal bowl in the water. (I used an 8-inch-diameter bowl and a 6-inch-diameter bowl.) Place beans or pie weights inside the smaller bowl, make sure the smaller bowl is centered. Freeze overnight. Defrost at room temperature for about 10 minutes, until bowls are loose enough to remove. Place ice bowl on a plate and fill with shrimp (or crudités). Serve sauce alongside.

Posted by Grace on December 4, 2008 in Food and Drink , Tips

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22 responses to "how to make an ice bowl"

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Ice bowl.

Actually sounds like a mess, not to mention finding the space to freeze it.

I always thought just placing the shrimp in a bowl with ice was enough...I mean it clearly would hold all the melted ice.

But I guess for something different...I'd have to dye the ice, or this would just seem to be a messy answer to a problem that I don't a colored ice bowl sounds like a great presentation ideal...I may even try to freeze something into the ice...even if it is just as boring as some of the shrimp themselves.

I will experiment and see what happens!

Interesting idea...thanks!

To the person that mentioned dyeing the ice...that's a really cool idea, but be careful of the dye going on to the shrimp. It's safe to eat, but there are picky people that will give you a hard time...What's this red, blue (whatever color you choose) on the shrimp...I can just picture it now. But nice idea about freezing something into the ice...I might try it!!!

Cool! Easy, free, fun. Would it work with glass bowls too?

Maybe you could dye the ice and line the indentation with plastic wrap so no coloring would get on the shrimp themselves. I like this ice bowl idea! I was thinking you might be able to freeze the ice in the bottom of a 2 liter soda bottle somehow so it makes a nice design and sits flat.

This sounds awesome and I'm all about it for my nexy party

Wonderful idea!! I agree with placing a wrap perhaps to separate the shrimp from the "dye". However for the "dye", there is of course FOOD COLORING!!! that'll take care of the color and being eatable.
--Soda bottle idea above would work also. Just need to cut down the bottle to the depth you want. Also assorted sizes of plastic or tupperware bowls can easily be used in lieu of a metal bowl. To add decor, can add silk flowers or petals to the water before freezing. HAVE FUN! Happy Holidays all. From Interior Decorator V Boyd from Maryland.

I Take Margarita Glasses. Ring the Shrimp around the edge of the glass. Fill the glass center w/crushed ice. Place the glass on a plate and serve with a lemon wedge and cocktail sauce.

Dyeing the ice is a great idea you could just line the inside of the ice bowl with a little plastic wrap

I had a huge ice bowl for my punch bowl at my weddng. The caterers put flowers in the water that matched my colors and they lit it from underneath. It was super cool. I love ice bowls.

But as the ice melts, won't it make a huge mess? I mean, do you put it in a bowl to catch all the drips..and if you do, that kind of ruins the whole aesthetic, no? Food-colored ice would make an even bigger mess!

I've done the coke bottle thing before and froze flowers in it. Very nice presentation.

Anybody have an easy way to clean the shrimp so it doesn't have that plastic taste to it?

Why not freeze the cocktail sauce and put it in that? Don't use glass bowls, they might crack. You could try using 2 attractive glass bowls and put ice in the larger one with the smaller one inside with the shrimp in it. Don't clean the shrimp, buy it at Walmart already prepared, and use that. Very good and not too costly.

When I visited England a few years back, the host of Easter dinner made an ice bowl with sticks, small leaves, and frozen raspberries frozen in the ice bowl. In the bowl, they served an absolutely to die for homemade frozen raspberry sherbert. It was certainly very beautiful when they presented it for dessert - everyone actually clapped. The sherbert dessert was perfect after a big meal and the ice bowl kept the sherbert cold for the time we sat around the table after dinner. After dinner, it went back in the freezer for another serving later in the evening.

Better Homes and Gardens last issue did another ice bowl but for the outside. They suggested cranberries frozen in the water and sticks (very aesthetically pleasing). They used (2 Liter) soda bottle with the top cut off (but I know my fridge wouldn't hold that and all the food in there, a deep freezer perhaps) and a smaller bottle of soda? for the inside. When they took it out to thaw they put it outside as a display with a taper candle inside. They used them to light the foot path. Very pretty until they melt, but it's winter so they will last a few hours.

Putting a few shrimp in the actual ice bowl and freezing them inside would be sort of cool! Maybe a few with the heads on! Would make for an interesting presentation!

Sounds great; I think for the melting ice you could sit the display on a decorative tray, one that's round preferably. And as the tray filled up, just emply it a couple of times. And usually, how long does shimp last at parties; therefore, I think you would probably only have to empty the tray once, if that, and then it done.

I don't think a little thing like ice melting should be a deterent to latching on to a great party idea.

I made the ice bowl the other day and added red Poinsettias in the water along with the leaves. I placed some heavy clean rocks in the center bowl to weigh it down. Well, needless to say, the weight of the bowl, was too much for the bottom of the ice bowl, however, the after affect of the rest of the bowl was amazingly beautiful. I took the bottomless ice bowl and placed it on top of a smaller bowl filled with more water to freeze a bottom for the bowl. I should see the results tonight.

On the day of the party, I am going to place the ice bowl on a smaller bowl filled with ice. I was thinking of either placing a wreath or maybe some pine cone decorations around the bowl to give it a more festive look. I was so excited about the bowl that I am experimenting with different types of bowls to see which one will look better. Note: This was all possible because my deep freezer is empty :)

@Zelma Poinsettia berries aren't toxic, but holly ones are, so be careful.

I love freezing edible flower blossoms in them and making matching ice cubes for drinks. I have even seen them used as centerpieces. They look beautiful when you fill them with glass marbles. You could set a small tea candle on the marbles as well.

If you are using them for food, I recommend a collection of them on the table all in different sizes and shapes. Use some decorative serving spoons and linens to display them. To catch the water, set them on decorative trays.

i looked at this and thought of instead of doing a bowl, why not try a cup? i actually right now have my first experiment in the freezer! il let you know how it goes

Hey check out my site, i just opened it and im really needing some recipes, and ideas. Let me know how you like it cya. And yes, i did design the site, i did everything in about one hour. And no, i didn't get any help, i'm the only one that has seen it since i made it.

This thread reminded me of a trick I did for Halloween. Use a plastic or latex glove (non-powdered) and fill with water. Knot the end of the glove and freeze it. I actually put it in the freezer with the palm down and then put different things under the fingers so they curled a bit. After it freezes, remove the glove and drop the hand into a bowl of punch.