Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 5: Jamaican Shrimp Salad with Mango Dressing

Boyfriend loves shrimp and I'm terrified that the population will be in severe trouble after this f@#$ing BP oil spill in the Gulf (why aren't more people pissed about this?).  So I decided to get some of these tasty crustaceans now while the gettin's good and make a spicy & sweet shrimp salad. These are the sneaky ways I get Boyfriend to eat fruit and salad.... for dinner, no less!

Spicy Mango Salad Dressing: 
*1/2 mango, peeled and diced (I cheated and used frozen from TJs, but I'm sure fresh would've been wayyyy better)
*1 hot pepper, diced (serrano, habenero, scotch bonnet... whatever; just recognize what heat level you desire/can handle.  I used Thai Red Chili Peppers, also known as Bird's Eye Chili)
* 2 tbsps unseasoned rice vinegar
* 1 tbsp lime juice
* 2 tsps of dijon mustard (although I suggest using less, it was a little overpowering)
* 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
* 1 tsp lime zest
* 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

In a blender or food processor, puree the mango, rice vinegar, lime juice, and dijon until smooth.  With the motor running, stream in the olive oil to make an emulsion.  Turn off the machine and add the remaining ingredients (hot pepper, lime zest, cilantro).  Pulse just to combine.  Yay!  You now have salad dressing!

Shrimp Boil:
* 1 small lemon, halved
* 3 C water
* 1 small onion, sliced
* 1/2 Jamaican Lager, such as Red Stripe (Hooray Beer!)
* 2 tbsps salt
* 1 Thai Chili Pepper, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
* 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
* 1 lb shrimp, shells and tails on

Squeeze the lemon juice into a large pot, then drop the lemon rinds in.  Add the water, beer, onion, salt, chili pepper, and ginger - bring to a boil.  Once it boils, turn the heat to a simmer and cover.  Let this cook for about 15min so all the flavors come together and the chili releases most of its heat.  Add the shrimp and cook until just pink (~3min MAX). 

Here, I removed the shrimp with a slotted spoon and let them cool so that I could remove the shells and tails. 

**SIDE NOTE, I put the shells and tails back into the cooking liquid and let that cook for another hour or so, to make a super-flavorful shrimp stock for later use.  After letting it cook for however long you have, just strain it into a tupperware and throw it in the freezer. It will make a great broth for seafood risotto or spicy bouillabaisse!

Moving on....

I cut the shrimp in half horizontally (to make it appear like we had more than we actually did - vision and smell are the most important parts of a meal) and mixed them with the Mango Dressing and some sliced red onions, the other half of the mango.

Final step, top a bowl of spring greens with your shrimp mixture, garnish with avocado slices & lime.  BOOM... dinner is served :)  We drank some Red Stripe Lager with this and it was a great pairing.  A Sauvignon Blanc would have been tasty too.  Next time, I might add some crunch on top, maybe a sprinkle of peanuts or cashews?  Either way, it's a keeper, and now that I'm thinking about it, this would make a great picnic item, just keep the shrimp in a separate container until ready to serve.

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