I brought to the party this surefire hit: lemon-marinated shrimp. A few party-goers asked for the recipe, but when I went to look for it on epicurious, the recipe was scaled to a yield of 50 (!!!) and called for 10 lbs. of shrimp. Here's an easier version, a variation on the one in the Gourmet cookbook, which is where I discovered it in the first place.
Three cheers to twitter and to Kate and the joy of the rainy Sunday food swap.
1 large lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds (toasted and then ground)
3 T white-wine vinegar
1 T olive oil
1 T water
1 T sugar
2 t dried red chili flakes
1 T plus 2 1/2 t kosher salt
2 T pickling spices (bay leaf, celery seed, mustard seed, clove, etc.)
1 lb. large shrimp, shelled and deveined (tail can be left on, if you like)
Zest and juice the lemon. Whisk together zest, juice, coriander, vinegar, oil, water, sugar, chile flakes, and 1 T kosher salt in a large bowl until sugar and salt are dissolved.
Bring a pot of water to a boil with pickling spices and remaining salt, and cook shrimp 60-90 seconds, or until just cooked through. Drain. Add warm shrimp to marinade, tossing to coat.
Cool shrimp slightly and put in large sealable plastic bag with marinade. Marinate, chilled, turning bag occasionally, at least 8 and up to 24 hours.