Sunday, February 8, 2009

Moist and Tasty Salad de Camarones

One of sad things a lot of people do when they cook shrimp, prawns or camarones common with a lot of recipes, is they inadvertently wind up cooking the moisture out of the poor little fish.

It doesn't need to be that way.

Here is a great recipe that has taste, great texture and is not a mayonnaisey salad with some seafoody meat chunks.

The trick whether your cooking prawns into a pasta recipe or using them for salads, DO NOT OVERCOOK them, for they will reward your heat escapade by turning into little rubbery chewy things.

So, take a pound or half kilo of 21-25's ( frozen are good, most of the time better than fresh shrimp, because they have not become mushy)
thaw out in a bowl of water for a few minutes, usually about 20 minutes or so.
Make a poaching liquid.
Put the shrimp into the liquid and let poach, DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL!
remove, dry or reserve for use the next day or just before you want to make the salad.
Once dry cut the shrimp in half lengthwise, then into quarters.
Toss into the mayo mix, place on lettuce or into a warmed soft bun and you have a superior tasting sandwich. Otherwise place on several leaves of butter lettuce, and enjoy.

Stuff you will need:

For Poaching liquid.
1/4 cup for fresh squeezed lemon juice
One small handful of cilantro leaves, chop fine
One small handful of parsley leaves, chop fine
1 tsp, whole peppercorns
1 tsp regular sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups water

To make poaching liquid, take a 2 quart sauce pan and put the lemon juice, peppercorns, sugar, salt, water, the squeezed lemon parts, half of the chopped cilantro, half of the chopped parsley and stir to combine, put the cleaned and deveined shrimp in, turn on fire to low, and watch. Check the temp with an instant read thermometer, it should stay around 170. Stir once or twice to be sure all the shrimp have become pink, then remove and put into a ice bath to stop the cooking. Remove only the shrimp, toss all the poaching stuff away. Drain shrimp on paper towels and either reserve for final assembly or continue.

To make the dressing

1/4 cup of your favorite Mayonnaise.
I small shallot chopped very fine.
1 small stalk of celery chopped fine.
remaining half of the finely chopped cilantro
remaining half of the finely chopped parsley.
salt and pepper to taste.

Take the dried shrimp pieces and combine, let sit, and use on bread or as a salad.

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