Sunday, June 24, 2012

Just Beachy

Wishing you were at the beach, enjoying some super tasty, fresh lobster? Me too. Why not fake a lobster roll with shrimp instead? It might not be the same, especially the relaxing at the beach part, but if you close your eyes tightly and try really hard, you can convince yourself otherwise. And it's actually quite delish, in spite of having to use mayo to dress it up. I'm so not a fan, but in this instance, it's an absolute recipe requirement. Incidentally I did actually see some nice looking lobster tails at Whole Foods last week, but my experience with their "fresh" fish has been iffy at best. Sorry. I love you Whole Foods, but your seafood offerings are seriously lacking in the quality department. I might have passed on the lobster this time, but not the beach. I will be there next weekend!

  • Shrimp Salad

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and cooked
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Lettuce or toasted hot dog or brioche buns
1. Divide the shrimp into two piles. Chop one pile into fine pieces and chop the other roughly, leaving large pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, onion, chives, celery, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Add to the bowl of shrimp and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve over greens or on toasted, buttered hot dog buns. Serves 4.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Snow

I have never been more glad to have named my blog so appropriately. Not only have I not been cooking, I haven't been roasting, baking, grilling or even stirring (not even a coffee!) for at least two weeks, maybe longer. Don't worry. I have been eating. A lot. Just other people's food. Like at the new restaurant, NoMad.

I was lucky enough to have enjoyed a fabulous dinner there a few weeks ago, coincidentally just after I spotted the chef-partner's snow pea salad recipe published in New York magazine. I decided to make it in anticipation of my visit, to see how well I followed directions and how closely my version resembled the professional version. I didn't do too badly...aside from my lack of precise knife skills (or the desire to create the perfect julienne), my use of bacon (in excess!), and ignoring the lemon oil request, it was pretty, pretty good.

Snow-Pea Salad
Adapted from New York

For the lemon vinaigrette:
3/4 cup lemon oil (or extra-virgin olive oil)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

For the salad:
1 pound snow peas
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white onion, finely diced
1/3 cup pancetta (or slab bacon), finely diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup packed mint leaves, washed
Pecorino, to garnish

1. For the lemon vinaigrette: In a bowl, whisk together the lemon oil and lemon juice and season with salt. Reserve.

2. For the snow-pea salad: Trim the ends of the snow peas, and remove the strings. Slice lengthwise into a fine julienne. Soak in ice water to crisp for about 3 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until very soft (about 10 minutes), then add the pancetta (or bacon) and cook until the fat starts to render.

4. Drain the snow peas, and dry completely on paper towels. Place the snow peas in a large bowl along with the onion and pancetta, and dress with enough vinaigrette to just coat the snow peas. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and finish with the mint leaves and shaved Pecorino. Serves 4.