Sunday, August 2, 2009

Roasted Shrimp Salad

Roasted Shrimp Salad

I rarely get to indulge in the guilty pleasure of sacking out and watching Food Network all afternoon, but some now-forgotten hiccup in my life let me catch a new episode of Barefoot Contessa "Back to Basics." Ah, home again. Ina, milady, talk to me.

I'm not sure why this recipe caught my eye -- salads are usually a fair amount of work, and I'm not a huge shrimp fan, but it seemed simple and portable and I liked the idea of roasting shrimp. A classic Ina twist to the most basic element. With my carb-free diabetic sister visiting, not only did all the ingredients mass muster, but I was on my way to Whole Foods anyway and could buy peeled deveined shrimp. I've deveined shrimp exactly once in my life, and that was plenty.

Raw red onion is strong to me, so I replaced it with a favorite standby: shallots. I've made this twice now, and I think next time I'll try the original red onion. The other flavors are mild enough to handle an extra onion kick. Ina knows what she's doing.

Mild, but wonderful. I couldn't believe how much I liked this. The orange and dill combination is fabulous.

Normally I'm not a huge fan of capers, but in this I wish I'd added more. Go for the capers.

I also tried substituting some of the mayonnaise with yogurt, to minimize the salty taste that screams mayonnaise...maybe that's why I wished I'd put red onions in, dunno. A little added salt could have compensated too. There are lots of minor tweaks to make, as long as the dill, orange and capers are there.

This was so good that I made it again just for myself, this time from frozen uncooked shrimp in a bag from Trader Joes -- deveined but not peeled. Just as good, but much more available, storable and much cheaper than the well-appointed fish market at Whole Foods. The frozen shrimp bag was one pound, less than half of the 2-1/2 lbs that Ina calls for, but was the right count (12 to 15). So I'm not sure what size she's using. The frozen shrimp wasn't small, I think it was called "jumbo" -- but big enough that I cut each piece in half for bite-sized pieces. For this quantity, a half-recipe of the dressing was more than enough.

These shrimp are dressed to impress, and are now filed away in my "staples" recipes.

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