Alright so I’m going to let you in on a little secret…I’ve actually never cooked shrimp before.
Seriously, first time ever.
Why you ask? Because growing up I hated fish, shellfish and mollusks (much to the dismay of my Filipino family, I mean seriously – what kind of Filipina doesn’t like seafood?)
But I honestly didn’t like it. To me shrimp had a weird texture, crab and lobster freaked me out, and I found fish to be, well…fishy.
It wasn’t until I was 19 and I started to get more interested in healthy cooking that I forced myself to start eating fish. In fact, it was only two and a half years ago when my husband and I started living together that I announced I would be making one fish meal a week in an effort to vary our diet (much to his dismay since he also doesn’t like seafood).
Even after we started eating fish, we still didn’t eat shellfish because neither of us are fans. The turning point for us is when we decided to go for a nice dinner at Bonefish Grill and the restaurant gave us a complimentary appetizer of Bang Bang Shrimp. Side note: If you’ve never had it before – it’s super fatty, loaded with butter, deep-fried spicy deliciousness. Definite only every so often kind of treat. After we raved over it (much to our surprise) – that’s when we finally started to open our minds to shellfish.
Since then we’ve eating various forms of shrimp but I never actually cooked it myself. This was a completely spur of the moment meal, spurred on by the fish monger having a sale on shrimp. So I finally broke down and bought 10 pieces.
My first instinct was to go with a salad because I figured if worse came to worse and we absolutely hated it, I wouldn’t be wasting a ton of expensive ingredients. And besides, at the time Cincinnati was going through a much appreciated but unexpected warm snap. As in it was in the 70’s and 80’s and you could practically smell spring in the air which just begged for a light but satisfying meal.
To further reinforce the “Spring” seasonal-ness of this salad, I used a tomato to make a tomato vinaigrette, and then tossed it with some quickly blanched asparagus, onions and roasted red peppers.
On the side I sliced some manchego on to pieces of whole wheat bread and then threw it under the broiler to melt and make fun “toasts” to round out the meal.
- 2 cups baby salad greens
- ½ cup white asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces then blanched
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced onion, cut in half moons
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced roasted red bell pepper
- 10 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp butter
- 2 - 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Spanish smoked paprika
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp Mexican oregano
- ¼ tsp Chipotle chile powder
- Dash of salt
- Dash of pepper
- 1 small roma tomato, grated, strained and skin discarded
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ tsp orange zest
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- To blanch asparagus bring a pot of water to a boil and boil asparagus for 3 minutes then immediately dip into ice water or rinse continuously under cold water. Dry and set aside.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients (omitting salt and pepper). Taste and add salt and pepper or anything else (sugar, orange zest) to taste.
- Chop raisins. In a medium bowl combine raisins, lettuce, asparagus, onion and red peppers. Pour dressing over and toss to combine.
- Divide salad between two bowls, when shrimp is done cooking top the salads with shrimp and serve immediately.
- In a sauté pan over medium high heat, heat the butter and olive oil. Toss the shrimp with garlic, paprika, thyme, oregano, chipotle chile powder and salt and pepper. Cook shrimp in pan for 3 minutes until pink and cooked through.
Adapted from Cuisine Lite