Shrimp “Ceviche” Salad (pes, gf)

So, it’s totally true that cooking is like working a muscle. The more you work that muscle, the easier it is to use. The less you work it, well, that muscle gets weaker. If I don’t cook on a regular basis, my culinary creative juices dry up like a sad roadside drainage ditch. Exhibit A:

ditch

so sad. so not cooking.

Who wants to eat there? Bleh. Luckily, the more often I cook, inspiration flows back like a tumbling tropical waterfall. Exhibit B:

waterfall 2

take me there? now? I’ll cook!

Much more appealing!! Do you find the same thing happens in your kitchen? It’s 100% the case in mine. Speaking of which, let’s flex those cooking muscles and talk ceviche. Typically, ceviche is a raw fish and/or shellfish dish in which the seafood had been “cooked” by citrus juices. To explain those salmonella-hazy quotation marks and to quote Chowhound, “citric acid changes the proteins in the fish, unraveling the molecules and altering their chemical and physical properties. When fish is bathed in citrus juices, this process… turns the flesh firm and opaque, as if it had been cooked with heat.”

ceviche

Since there are just two of us at home and we’re leftover-heavy on the food rotation, I opt to pre-cook my seafood when making dishes like these. It’s a safe option when keeping this stuff on hand for a few days and the classic, citrusy flavor isn’t compromised. This is a “cut it all up and stir it together” recipe- great for busy nights or when you’re trying to use up veggies in the fridge. So! Let’s get to it.

SHRIMP “CEVICHE” SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cooked, diced large 
  • 1 bell pepper, your choice of color, diced large
  • 1 large avocado, pitted and chopped into large dice
  • 1 small container grape tomatoes, halved (the tomatoes, not the container)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup cilantro, packed and finely chopped
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 3-4 tbsp olive or canola oil (taste preference here: olive oil has a distinct, earthy taste; canola is neutral)
  • 1/2-1 small red onion, small dice
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • kosher salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • honey, optional
  • optional spices, such as chili powder, cumin, oregano
  • spinach or salad green of your choice

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Strawberry, Kiwi, and Mint Chop-Chop with Jicama and Roasted Shrimp (gf, pes)

The season is turning, things are heating up outside… This is the time of open windows, attic fans, and late spring breezes. And easy dinners that free up more time to be spent with our loved ones. And salads.

* sweet * tart * mint *

* sweet * tart * mint *

I’m not generally a salad fan but if I can get my hands on one with a high interesting toppings-to-greens ratio (I’m no rabbit), I’m all in and this salad more than fits that profile. Like fruit? Like shrimp? You’re gonna love this…..

STRAWBERRY, KIWI, AND MINT CHOP-CHOP WITH ROASTED SHRIMP

Adapted from Triathlete Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/2 cup jicama
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 4 kiwi, peeled
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped into small dice
  • handful mint, chopped
  • juice of 1 orange
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp honey or agave
  • 1 inch-piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 large container spring mix

Directions:

Peel, devein, and rinse the shrimp. Pat them mostly dry and toss them in a bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Heat your broiler on high and arrange the shrimp, side by side on a broiler pan, like this:

salad 1

Every time I see tail-on shrimp, I think of Beetlejuice. Every. Time.

Roast the shrimp 2 1/2 minutes, flip, and roast an additional 2 1/2 minutes. They’re going to be perfectly cooked and really tasty. Set aside.

salad 3

Meanwhile (though I suppose not really so meanwhile, as you only have five minutes while the shrimp cook- I apparently have lot of faith in your time management skills), chop all of your fruit and your tuber! That’s right, a tuber. Let’s talk jicama. Jicama is, well, a tuber in the pea family. It’s crispy and refreshing and pairs well with citrus and seafood and salad. So the fruit  and herbs should be chopped as such:

  • strawberries- hulled and sliced
  • kiwi- cut in half, scooped out with a spoon, and sliced into coins
  • jicama- peeled with a vegetable peeler and cut into thick, 1-inch matchsticks
  • English cucumber- cut into small dice
  • Mint- chopped

Chop those and toss. The dressing is easy to make: juice an orange, juice a lemon, add 1 tbsp olive oil, the honey, a pinch of kosher salt, the grated ginger, and a few grinds of black pepper, and stir. Toss the fruit mixture with 1 tbsp of the dressing, then toss your desired amount of greens with another bit of dressing. Layer the greens with the fruit mixture and top with the shrimp. Serve! This would be really good with the addition of feta cheese. Enjoy!

My appetite requires me to eat salad from a mixing bowl... the shame, the SHAME!

My appetite requires me to eat salad from a mixing bowl, don’t judge me