Sunday, January 22, 2012

Shrimp Salsa Salad

Lighter meals can be hard to put together in the winter but are a nice alternative to hearty stews and roasts. This main dish salad has some built-in heat that makes a simple, pure dish a hit. The secret ingredient is sautéed jalapeño slices.  Cooking cuts the heat and leaves lots of flavor.  They are the perfect compliment to shrimp marinated in a spicy tomato mixture.

The shrimp and jalapeño slices are served over a salad built around the flavors of guacamole and salsa.  The light tomato dressing is inspired by the flavors in the marinade.  You will crave this main dish salad again in the summer with grilled shrimp but for now, “water sauté”  the shrimp over low heat (directions below) to keep them tender.

Shrimp Salsa Salad
Ingredients per person:
For the shrimp and jalapeño:
4 jalapeños
vegetable oil
4 large shrimp, peeled and deveined marinated in:
1 tablespoon tomato juice
1teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
pinch cayenne
pinch salt
  • Marinate 30 minutes or up to two hours.  
  • While shrimp marinates, prepare jalepenos.  Slice on an angle and seed.  Fry in a scant amount of vegetable oil in a wide skillet or grill pan.  Remove when slightly charred. 
  • Remove shrimp form marinade and water sauté shrimp by steaming over very low heat in a covered skillet for five minutes, turning once.  Add a bit of water as needed to cover bottom of pan. 

For the salad:
1/4 avocado, sliced or in chunks
1/2 tomato, thinly sliced
4-6 olives, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped cilantro
1 slice cooked bacon, chopped
2 cups lettuce

Tomato Dressing (for each person):
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lime juice
2 teaspoons tomato juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch each: cumin, ground coriander, salt, pepper
chopped cilantro

Tomato Dressing for Four:
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lime juice
2 tablespoons tomato juice
1/4 cup tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon each: cumin, ground coriander, salt, pepper
chopped cilantro

Seeding then cooking the peppers diminishes the heat and provides an exciting new green for your salad.  You can also slice the jalapeños lengthwise, remove the seeds and veins then roast over an indoor grill to get a nice charred affect.  Slice into strips.  Make extra, they are wonderful on burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches and keep up to two days in the refrigerator.