Monday, June 21, 2010

Carribean Seafood Salad

This was my Mothers contribution to Fathers day dinner. Now those of you who know me might have some inkling of how important my mom teaching me to cook has been to my life, but it really can't be put in to words. My enjoyment of cooking and eating has it roots in enjoying the time spent with my mother as kid cooking and trying different things. I am so excited to have my parents close by again for many reasons, the chance to cook with and for my mother more often is a huge factor in that. Right, all  nostalgia aside here is the recipe.

For the Salad
1 bag of frozen peas
1 1/2 heads of romaine lettuce
1 mango
1 lb steamed spiced shrimp
14 oz lobster meat ( you can use frozen, just don't use faux lobster)

For the dressing
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup of cocktail sauce
1 tsp horseradish(or more if you like a kick)
1/2 cup of mayo (olive mayo has become the preferred mayo in my family, use miracle whip at your peril and my never-ending loss of faith in you)

Cover the Unpeeled Shrimp in old bay and steam for 5-7 minutes until pink, don't over cook the shrimp please. Seriously, chewy stringy shrimp are just not a happy thing.
Drain the shrimp and cover with ice to stop it from cooking any more. Once it has cooled peel the shrimp and slice each shrimp in half lengthwise and set aside in the fridge.

If using frozen cooked lobster just thaw it by running it under cold water and set aside. If you are using fresh lobster, cook it however you like and chop it into bite seized pieces

You can  use frozen mango slices if you can find it, but fresh is better, slice the mango and then, either use a small melon baller or use the hedgehog method to cut cubes. Cutting a mango can be a bit tricky but the linked video is a good way to learn.

If you are going to eat the salad right away then thaw the peas by running them under cold water in a colander, if you are going to be bringing this to a picnic and it is going to sit for a while just leave the peas frozen.

Remove the core from the lettuce and chop or tear the lettuce into bite size pieces. I like to tear leafier lettuces like red leaf or green leaf because I'm a bit nutty and that is what I was told you are supposed to do once upon a time and it has stuck with me. However with romaine if you cut it with a sharp knife you won't wind up with nasty wilted edges.

Put the lettuce in the bottom of a salad bowl and then layer on your seafood, mango and peas. Set it aside and work on your dressing. Combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk together. If you are serving right away just pour on the dressing and toss well to combine. If you are traveling with it leave the dressing in a separate container until just before serving.

This salad was a fantastic complement to the Lechon Asado and fresh bread. and of course the giant pitcher of Mojitos I made. If you don't think this meal screams for Mojitos then you are deaf to the siren call of tasty booze with your food.

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