11 September 2013

Lekker: Summer Shrimp & Corn Salad

Dear. God. Blogger was giving me such shit last night. I meant to write this yesterday evening whilst I was leisurely enjoying a glass of good-for-me red wine (to celebrate some good news I received about my health, lulz) but no, Google was not having it. Damn you Google and your salad sabotaging ways!

Anyhoodles, the salad I'm blogging about today is hands down my very very favourite salad for summer time. I think I've eaten it about a dozen times since June and each time I make it there's like 4 servings in it, so...yeah. It has never photographed prettily so this is the best I could do, but there is so much yumminess in this bad boy there's no one who will say no. AND I CAN ALREADY SEE YOU BOYS GOING TO X OUT OF THIS BLOG BECAUSE IT'S ABOUT A SALAD. You can just calm right down because I have fed this to meat-eating cavemen multiple times and they all loved it (hello, it includes bacon) despite the lack of bloody steak.

I'm going to write this recipe the easy way, the way I do it on weeknights. There is a blurb at the bottom about how to complicate your life, if you're into that kind of thing.

All dah pretty colors. Plus there's a ton of green all underneath that.

Summer Shrimp & Corn Salad
makes 3-4 good sized servings; I am a pig and keep this whole thing to myself and get four bowls worth' out of it. It'll keep for one night and one night only in the fridge if you DO NOT dress it.

What You Need
1 bag of chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 a large cucumber (I like the English ones, not because I'm a racist against the other cukes but these are just...better...) peeled and diced into bite-sized pieces
1 large tomato (I prefer on-the-vine but you could even use cherry tomatoes chopped in half or Roma or whatever, just get a nice big ol' handful of tomato in there)
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled (less if you like less, or leave it out if you don't like cheese, whatever)
6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped (if you really want to make your life simple, buy the precooked bacon and just zap it in the micro for 30 seconds to bring it to room temp)
1/2 a pound of shrimp (Note: I always buy the frozen, peeled, deveined & de-tailed shrimp because I am lazy. I'm writing the recipe as if you're doing that too. But if you are even lazier than me, buy the already-cooked shrimp or whatever the deli/fish section of your grocery store has prepared to save yourself a step)
1 cup of frozen corn kernels, thawed

What You Do
1. In a large bowl, throw in your lettuce, cucumber, tomato, avocado and feta cheese which you have all already lovingly washed and diced up into salad sized pieces. Cook your bacon in the microwave (if you didn't buy the precooked stuff) until it's to your desired crispiness, blot off the grease really really well with a paper towel, chop that up and throw it in.

2. If you didn't buy the pre-cooked shrimp, now's the time to sauté off your thawed shrimp in a pan on the stove. I use a cast iron skillet and a teensy bit of butter over medium-high heat until the shrimp are pink throughout. Season with pepper to taste. When they're done, you can cut each shrimp in half if you want (I usually do that to get them more interspersed throughout the salad but forgot in the photo above) and add those to your salad.

3. In the same pan that's still hot with a bit of grease left in it from the shrimp, toss in the corn and crank up the heat to high, stirring often to toast it. You don't haaaaaaaave to do this step but I find it brings out a little bit more of the ....corn?...flavour. Throw that in the salad bowl and you're done!

Oh, right, dressing. So, don't dress this salad if you're not going to finish it that night because it gets all soggy and gross in the fridge. But, the dressing I always make is a very simple vinaigrette with about 1/3 cup of olive oil and 2 T lemon juice with salt and pepper added to taste. Whisk it up with a fork, taste it, and adjust as necessary. 

A CAVEAT TO ALL OF THE ABOVE: I rarely use measurements when I cook. In fact, I just about made up every single measurement you see above from memory and from what I usually use. This is a salad, I don't give a flying fart in space if you want to use 8 slices of bacon instead of 6 or if you want to use the whole cucumber; just do what you like! It's your life! It's just dinner! I just put what *I* usually do because these are the proportions that *I* like.

So, that's how I usually make that salad. There *IS* a way to elevate this to supreme baller status, and it is excellent, but more work. Namely, you can grill the shrimp (instead of just pan frying them) which adds the most gorgeous colour, flavour and "summeryness". You can also grill fresh corn on the cob, OR, dry roast some fresh raw kernels in a cast iron skillet on the stove over high heat, stirring often, until they blacken and brown in spots. That's amazing too. I just can't be bothered to go tracking down fresh corn on the cob on a Tuesday night to do all that, and I can't grill for shit so that's out too. 

I suggest you enjoy this with one of the aforementioned boneheaded meat lovers so you can crow gleefully once they admit how yummy this salad actually is. A nice white wine (I like Monkey Bay's Sauvignon Blanc) pairs well for crowing, I find.


No comments:

Post a Comment