Sunday, May 25, 2014

Now, That's a Salad!


My husband loves limes and cilantro.  Anything I cook for him that has those flavors makes him very happy.  Since it's been hot, I decided I wanted to make a salad.  And what a salad. This Southwestern Shrimp Salad had such amazing complementary flavors.  The Cilantro, Avocado & Lime Dressing was a smash hit.  All the flavors here were a cohesive blend, almost like a perfect marriage.  The shrimp, corn, and even avocado are grilled on a grill pan.  You can grill it outside, too, especially if you are an avid griller (or live with one).

I ate way too much of this salad and wish I could have more right now!  And my husband would have probably drank the dressing by itself if he thought no one was looking.  This salad has several spicy components, so feel free to leave out the heat if you'd like.  Look how pretty the colors of this salad are.  Makes you hungry, right?

SOUTHWESTERN SHRIMP SALAD
As adapted from Closet Cooking
(This makes 4 big salads)
FOR THE SHRIMP:
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1-3 chipotles in adobo, chopped
1/4 C olive oil
2 T fresh chopped cilantro
2 limes
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper, to taste
Grill skewers

FOR THE DRESSING:
About 1 C fresh cilantro (more or less)
1 C vegetable oil
2 avocados
2 limes
1 serrano pepper, coarse chopped (jalapeno will work too)
2 cloves garlic
Salt & pepper, to taste

FOR THE SALAD:
4 ears corn
One 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
2 avocados
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch leaf lettuce, chopped or torn
Shredded cheese (I used Colby Jack)
Red onion slices
6 corn tortillas
Peanut oil
chipotle powder
Salt

For the shrimp, place the chipotles in adobo, olive oil, cilantro, juice of the two limes, garlic, cumin, onion powder and salt & pepper in a large zipper bag and kind of squeeze it around to combine.  Add in the shrimp.  Marinate in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.  If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for about 20 minutes so they won't burn.

For the dressing, put all of the ingredients except the oil into a blender and blend to combine.  Leaving the blender on, stream in the oil through the top of the blender.  Blend until completely smooth.  Chill until ready to use.

For the tortillas, cut the six corn tortillas into strips.  Heat some peanut oil in a small pot.  Fry them for a few minutes until they are crisp.  Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with some chipotle powder and salt.

Preheat a grill pan to medium high heat.  Brush the corn with a little olive oil and grill, turning occasionally, for 7-10 minutes until charred on all sides and tender.  When they are cool enough to handle, cut the corn kernels from the cobs.  Slice the avocado and put the avocado slices on the grill pan for about 30 seconds per side.  Set them aside.  Next skewer the shrimp and place them on the grill pan.  Cook them about 3-4 minutes on both sides or until done.

Now it's time to eat!  Put some leaf lettuce in a bowl and top with the corn, tomatoes, black beans, red onion, cheese, tortilla strips, avocados and dressing.  

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