S.A.'s Cold Spicy Shrimp
I'm convinced that having someone in your group who understands how to cook, stretch meals, and provide filling, tasty, interesting, nutritious, and satisfying dishes will be as vital as your gun guy, security honcho, or medical expert.
This is another well-tested recipe from a friend, a USAF wife. I never served it to a group where it wasn't completely eaten. Only people who don't care for it or eat it are shrimp haters and those with shrimp allergies. Often people with limited cooking experience will want to omit a particular recipe ingredient and will proclaim something along the lines of, "I don't like mustard." Well, some people don't "like eggs," but they sure eat cake. A recipe is a combination of ingredients that meld together to make a delightful dish.
1.5 # fresh cooked shrimp
1/4 c fresh chopped parsley
1/4 c finely chopped green onions
1/4 c tarragon vinegar
1/4 c wine vinegar (red or white, your choice)
1/2 c olive oil
3-4 T Dijon mustard
2 t crushed red pepper
2 t salt (optional)
Fresh ground pepper
I get the grocery store to cook the shrimp with creole seasoning. At home, remove shells but leave on tails for ease of eating. Don't rinse. Place shrimp in a large container so you have room to stir and mix. I like to use a large, deep Tupperware or Rubbermaid with a tight-fitting snap-on lid. Put shrimp in first, then add rest of ingredients. Stir everything until well mixed and shrimp is coated. Cover and refrigerate, stirring or shaking a few times over the next 24 hours. Best prepared 2-3 days in advance, but may be eaten immediately. Serve with any cracker, 5 Grain Crackers are particularly good.
1. Just to have on hand for afternoon appetizer or lunches over several days, I only use 1 pound of shrimp or even less. Amount of shrimp is optional. The sauce doesn't go to waste.
2. For hard times, if fresh shrimp is not available, now is the time to go to your stores. Use 1 or 2 cans of tiny canned shrimp, depending on how many you are feeding. Open can, drain liquid, reserving, and rinse shrimp. Give liquid to the cat for a treat. Also, practice with other types of canned seafood. Instead of using shrimp, this sauce over drained, chilled canned crab sitting on lettuce would be delicious and refreshing.
3. Use parsley fresh from your herb garden and green onions. (You are growing the ever useful and easy to grow herbs, right? They will revolutionize your meals in the future by adding various flavor, texture, color, nutrition, and visual interest.) If not, use 1/2 of a stored yellow or white onion and its green top that has sprouted in storage.
4. I love to eat this as a salad on sliced avocado with the shrimp and herby sauce drizzled on top. However, avocado possibly might not be available. They don't grow well here, too cold.
5. Any left-over sauce is a nutritious, delicious salad dressing. It's amazingly spicy, yet not overly hot, and so tasty over fresh tomatoes. Do you dehydrate tomato slices? I recently was served a restaurant meal with a garnish of "tomato chips." Leaned over and whispered to my husband, "These are just like what I have put up. We have plenty in our pantry." Using dehydrated tomato chips instead of crackers....yum.
6. Keeps well due to the mustard and vinegars. It even freezes well. Mustard is said to have anti-cancer properties. I've used several types of mustards, such as grainy French mustards and smooth mustards. Anything works, but plain ol' Grey Poupon Dijon is best.
- Grow tarragon and you can easily make your own tarragon vinegar.
- You could substitute corn oil, or really, any oil. (Olive is just flavorful.)
- If worst came to worst, you could use your dehydrated parsley and onions. Don't get me wrong, I put these up and have them in my spice rack. But, if you didn't have fresh, in my mind it would indicate that things had really gone south, so to speak. However, you would know how to use canned seafood and dehydrated herbs and onions and pantry flavorings to make a nutritious, comforting recipe.
- Experiment and enjoy!
- Know how to combine your storage ingredients with innovation. Grow an herb garden and the easy-to-grow vegetables (in a pot if you don't have a garden), such as lettuce and tomatoes and peppers.
JWR's Comment: It occurred to me that this recipe might translate well to freshwater crawfish. That could be worth a try.
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