Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Summer Shrimp n' Spinach Salad

Tonight we created a meal that will go down in food history as the Floridian Citrus Seafood Trio. While we ate this impeccable meal we conversed not only about the flavors of each component, but also about how it should be represented in blog form. The conclusion--to feature each integrant in its own post.
The Summer Shrimp n' Spinach Salad was my contribution to the meal. It was a hot, humid day in Florida (shocking, I know) so I wasn't in the mood to come home from work and "cook". I wanted to create something that would accent the main course with maximum flavor and minimum heat. My answer...salad.
What I created was a side salad, but because I opted for something full of flavor it could easily be converted into a meal. I love a spinach salad with fruit and a sweet vinaigrette. The affinity for that type of salad is the heart of this recipe.

SERVES 2:

Ingredients:
  • 2-3 ounces baby spinach
  • 10 gulf shrimp, steamed and peeled
  • .25 cucumber, sliced very thin
  • handful almonds, slivered
  • 11 ounces mandarin oranges, drained
  • .5 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
  • dash salt
  • dash ground black pepper
  • .5 cup raspberry walnut vinaigrette
Cookware/Utensils:
  • can opener
  • measuring cups
  • cutting board
  • santoku or chef's knife

Once the prep work of peeling the shrimp, slicing the cucumber and draining the oranges is complete then the salad is ready for assembly. I prepare individual bowls of salad. I find it easier and less dishes to clean if I do it this way as opposed to fixing a salad in a salad bowl and then transferring the salad to individual bowls. This means that you will need to take each ingredient and divide it in half between each bowl. First, place spinach in each bowl. Next add cucumbers, cheese, shrimp, oranges, salt, pepper and almonds. Finally, top each bowl with vinaigrette. This is the order in which I layer my salad. I suggest assembling the salad moments before consumption. This will prevent the spinach from becoming soggy as a result of the wet ingredients--oranges and vinaigrette. Voila!

***The other components of the Floridian Citrus Seafood Trio include Pan Broiled Amberjack with an Orange Apricot Butter Sauce and Buffalo Bill's Orange Blossom Cream Ale (blog posts listed separately). The salad, fish and beer all centered around the idea of the orange. The salad and fish shared almond as a common ingredient. This trio is Floridan for its use of the orange, as the official state flower is the orange blossom and the official state beverage is orange juice. The seafood used are also both Floridian in nature. Amberjack is found in great numbers swimming in the water surrounding Florida enjoying the reefs, rock outcrops and wrecks. Gulf shrimp is caught off the coasts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Since we live on the Gulf Coast and know that our shrimp came from the local fishermen who docked their boats in our community this morning, we know that our shrimp shared our home state.

4 comments:

Dragon said...

I love shrimp with citrus and fruit flavours. This one looks great. Good job!

Robin Sue said...

Hi thanks for stopping by my blog. Where were you when I was first married? It is so very hard to cook for two. Now I cook for 5 and it is much easier, except they are all sort of picky!

Sam Sotiropoulos said...

What a delightful summery seafood dish! I love the use of the citrus and almond slivers, just scrumptious... Love your blog! As my wife and I cook for two, I can appreciate where you are coming from. i look forward to going through your blog in more detail, and I await your future postings!

Be Well,
Sam

the Aspirant Abecedarian said...

What kind words! I am so glad that you all are enjoying the blog. Please continue to come back. I really believe in developing recipes for two people. Thank you!