We had Peel and Eat Shrimp last night. Honestly, it wasn’t that good, which helps explain why there were three lonely shrimp sitting in the refrigerator this morning. I really didn’t relish the idea of them as leftovers, so I did what you do to any food you want to boost the flavor of, add Mayonnaise. I have been searching for the perfect “______” Salad recipe forever and I still haven’t found one I’m in love with. I have learned this though, less is more. Remember, the protein should be the focus, everything else is just window dressing. Resist the urge to go Hollywood all over it.
I decided to make this a true leftover dish and only used what I had on hand. I have no measurements for this at all. I find seasoning for salads to be completely arbitrary. You’re here, you’re reading this, you have cooking sense, start with how much protein you have and go from there. Which brings me to universal cooking truth number one: you can always add, but you can’t take away.
1. Protein. In this case, my lonely three 16/20 count shrimp. Chopped.
2. Old Bay. I added this mainly because of the flavor fail of the peel and eat.
3. Red Onion. Finely Minced. Generally I find red onion best used in moderation, both size and amount. In a perfect world, I probably would have used green onions.
4. Fresh Dill. I use very little because fresh dill can really take over. A variation is to omit the dill and instead mince up a kosher dill pickle spear or two. Good for flavor and texture.
5. Celery. Cut it as small as you can so it will still give a satisfying crunch.
6. Lemon Juice. My sister is going to give me shit over this, but I was out of lemons, so I used the bottled stuff. Just a hint of acid is all that’s needed. Obviously fresh lemon juice would be preferable.
7. Mayonnaise. Hellmann’s/Best Foods or get the fudge out.
9. Fresh cracked pepper.
The clear choice is to serve with your favorite pretzel, but this is America, so chose your own delivery system.
A note: I had some left over chicken and decided to make some Chicken Salad as well. They were identical (down to the addition of Old Bay) save the protein. If you ask me which I prefer, I preferred the shrimp, well, because… shrimp. I would call both a generic success. Again, I do not love this recipe, it is strictly a basic, passable, recipe to help take care of leftovers. Also, you can take out up to three of those ingredients (as long as one of them isn’t the mayo) and it would still serve it’s purpose, it’s a really forgiving recipe.