Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer Fling: Fiesta Shrimp Salad & Crunchy Key Lime Cookies!


Ladies, I must confess, I am infatuated! Now don’t get the wrong idea – it’s with the Fiesta Shrimp Salad. This is one recipe I haven’t heard a lot about and let me tell you – go home and make it tonight!
It takes a little bit of time but it just sounded so light and summery and refreshing with the papaya, avocado, and grapefruit. In addition, the shrimp have an Asian, spicy twist to them which is just mouth-watering. To complement the dish, or rather follow it, I chose the Crunchy Key Lime Cookies. They are such an embodiment of Florida, calling for the zest and juice of the indigenous and wonderfully tart key lime. They have the perfect amount of crunch and key lime essence and are not too sweet. These two dishes paired together would be perfect for a light spring/summer luncheon. You might even want to make a little “extra” to have on hand, you know, just in case you have a hungry man in the house who insists on a second helping (and maybe a third, but I have to draw the line somewhere.) I’m not naming any names though. Needless to say it was very well-received!
As for the wine, we just happened to have one on hand that went perfectly with both dishes. It is a white wine from Spain made from 100% Moscatel de Alejandria grapes. It has a hint of sweetness but is light and crisp with floral and tropical fruit notes. A great summer wine! In addition, a Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling would be an equally great pairing.

The Dishes:
Fiesta Shrimp Salad (pg. 131)
Crunchy Key Lime Cookies (pg. 256)

The Drink:
2008 Jorge Ordonez Botani Moscatel Seco Andalucia, Spain

For the Fiesta Shrimp Salad I started with the dressing. I used a blender to blitz all the ingredients and stuck it in the fridge to chill (I added the chives just before serving.) Then I tackled the shrimp - I like them with the tail on, I think it makes a great presentation. The marinade was easy enough to prepare. I used ¼ tsp. of red pepper flakes and just a pinch of sugar mixed with the other ingredients, added the shrimp, stirred well and popped them in the fridge for an hour. Meanwhile I sliced up the papaya, grapefruit and avocado. I saved the avocado for last so it wouldn’t brown. If you wanted to slice it in advance you could toss it with a little lime or lemon juice to prevent browning. I also think it looks really nice to segment the grapefruit which can take a little practice. If you’re feeling ambitious here is a link to a demo on how to do that and be sure to use a very sharp knife http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3320000526185938826. For the salad I just bought a pre-washed, ready to go bag of really nice looking greens with radicchio, red leaf lettuce and baby romaine. I just followed the assembly instructions and before I knew it I had one gorgeous looking salad (see photo). I can’t wait to make this salad again – did I mention that?
For the Crunchy Key Lime Cookies the directions are pretty straightforward. Be sure to crush the Corn Flakes really well – I used a rolling pin & Ziploc bag. Good for getting out any aggression! The 16 minute bake time was also right on. They are truly worth the effort! So light and crispy with that nice hint of Florida key lime. After a fabulous meal of Fiesta Shrimp Salad they really do make you savor the moment.

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