Sunday, June 9, 2013

Green Goddess Salad with Poached Shrimp

One thing we don't eat enough of is salad, and we're making an effort to change that this summer.  I came across this recipe by Guy Fieri while watching an episode of Guy's Big Bite and made a mental note of it because the dressing looked so good, and I loved the idea of adding flavorful poached shrimp.  We like making our own salad dressings, but we usually stick with vinaigrette.  This green goddess dressing is creamy, tangy, and full of flavor.  I also loved how the shrimp tasted after poaching in a mixture of water, lime, peppercorns, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes.  Overall this was a simple recipe, but super delicious and different than our usual salad.  And if you eat a big bowl, it's a full meal!
  • Shrimp:
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 5 to 6 black peppercorns
    • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and bashed
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 lime, cut into slices
    • 1 small bunch fresh parsley
    • 2 pounds medium raw de-veined shrimp in the shells (I think I used less than this, but the more shrimp the better!)  Usually the E-Z peel shrimp come de-veined and that's what I buy.
  • Dressing: 
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup sour cream (could sub non-fat Greek yogurt)
    • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
    • 1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
    • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste (or 2-3 whole canned anchovies)
    • 1 small clove garlic
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Salad:
    • 2 heads romaine
    • 1 head Bibb lettuce or bag of mixed greens
    • 1 hothouse cucumber, sliced
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
    • 1/2 cup drained and sliced pepperoncinis (optional)
    • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
    • 1 orange bell pepper, diced

To poach the shrimp,  combine 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) water with the salt, red pepper flakes, black peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, lime and parsley in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and allow the liquid to cool for a few minutes.  
Drop the shrimp into the hot (but not boiling) water and let them sit in the liquid, covered, for about 5 minutes. Keeping the shells on the shrimp during this step enhances their flavor.  After 5 minutes, the shrimp should be cooked through and completely pink. Use a slotted spoon to remove the shrimp and drain well. Refrigerate until cool, and then peel and discard the shells before serving with the salad.
To make the dressing, combine the mayo, sour cream, basil, parsley, green onions, lemon juice, anchovy paste and garlic in a food processor and puree.  Thin the mixture with water as required, using only 2 tablespoons at a time.  It should be a thick dressing, but thin enough that you can pour it over your salad.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.
For the salad, wash the lettuces and roughly chop the romaine hearts and put into a big bowl. Tear the other lettuce leaves into bite-size pieces and add to the bowl. Toss the lettuce together with the cucumber, red onion, pepperoncinis, green onions, and bell pepper. Top with the shrimp. Dress lightly with the dressing, and serve!  Add more dressing on individual servings as needed.  Or, if you aren't planning to eat it all at once, dress only after serving so that the salad will keep better in the fridge.

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