Friday, February 18, 2005

Late Night Boiled Shrimp Salad

My girl Pat’s travel schedule has recently changed and she gets to come home on Thursday nights rather than leaving Chicago’s O’Hare airport on a 6:00 AM flight on Friday mornings. The only problem is that she doesn’t get home until about 11:30 PM and she doesn’t have time to eat dinner making the connections to St.Simons.

Last night I was tasked with making her something to eat that was rather light in nature and easy for me to put together.

My standard solution…SHRIMP!

Luckily, we keep a couple of pounds of frozen shrimp in our freezer at all times and we have a pretty well stocked fridge and pantry, so here is what I came up with…


A couple of dozen 35-55 count frozen (or fresh) shrimp
½ tbsp Old bay seasoning
¼ tsp Red pepper flakes
Baby field greens (or salad greens of your choice)
One can of pear halves
One can of mandarin orange slices
Ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese if you like)


1/8 cup Good balsamic vinegar (16 year old if you got it)
Extra virgin expeller pressed olive oil
Black pepper to taste

Cocktail sauce:

½ cup catsup
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tbsp prepared horseradish (or to your taste)
Black pepper to taste

First, toss a couple of bowls into the freezer to chill.

Set a medium boiler with a couple quarts of water on the stove to boil. Season the water with the Old Bay Seasoning and red pepper flakes.

While your water is coming to a boil, make up your dressing and cocktail sauce.

For the dressing, whisk together the balsamic vinegar with the olive oil—a little at a time—until you have a good emulsion. Add the olive oil SLOWLY and whisk rapidly (without getting it on your shirt or the ceiling) until it is sort of foamy. You got it?

The cocktail sauce is easy—catsup in a small mixing bowl, then the Worcestershire, lemon juice, horseradish and pepper. Stir it up.

By now the water should be boiling, so toss your shrimp into the water along with the leftover lemon halves after you have juiced them.

While the shrimp are boiling, let’s jump over to the salad.

Pull the salad bowls out of the freezer and put a couple of hands full of greens in each bowl. Place the mandarin oranges and pear halves around the edge of the salad and drizzle the dressing evenly over the plate. Place a scoop of ricotta cheese in each pear slice (I like lots of cheese.)

Don’t let your shrimp boil longer than three to five minutes or they will get tough. Drain the shrimp and toss them into a bowl of ice cubes to stop the cooking and chill slightly.

Now pour yourself a glass of wine and rest for a minute while your shrimp chill.

Divide the shrimp evenly (OK, OK, I actually get more shrimp than Pat) in the center of the salad plates, top off your wine glass, put everything on the table with the cocktail sauce, and EAT.

Enjoy Y’all,

The Redneck Gourmet

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