For some reason, every time I’m cooking shrimp, I think of the movie Forest Gump. Specifically the scene where Bubba says:
“Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it.”
Am I the only one who does that? Is there something wrong with me? The other thing that comes to mind is that God awful phrase with an Australian accent, “Let’s throw some shrimp on the Barbie.” I try not to let that one creep into my mind, otherwise it’ll be stuck there for a few days. Dang it…now it’s stuck in my head. Oh well, this light and tasty grilled shrimp salad was worth it and it’ll be in my head for a while, too.
Are you getting sick of the healthy recipes yet? I sure hope not because I have plenty more planned. Eating healthy doesn’t mean bland food and this dish did not disappoint. From the flavors the brine brought to the grilled shrimp to the zesty and tangy light dressing that topped the salad, this recipe packed a ton of flavor, was quick and easy to prepare. Not to mention healthy.
You may remember our Brined Shrimp from back in January. Why brine the shrimp (or any meat for that matter)? Simple. Brining can improve the flavor and texture of your meat as well as help keep it from drying out when you cook it. And for shrimp, it only takes 20-25 minutes. You’ve got that kind of time right? Perfect for sitting down with a glass of wine or your beverage of choice and relaxing. One more thing before getting started…leave those shells on! They help protect the shrimp from the heat and drying out.
(makes 4 servings)
- 1 lb of shrimp
- 2 cups of water
- 2 cups of ice
- 1/4 cup Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup Zatarain’s Extra Spicy Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil (not the liquid kind)
- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp Cajun Seasoning (we use Dizzy Pig’s Swamp Venom)
- about 6 cups of your favorite salad mix
- 1/2 of a small red onion, thinly sliced
- any other vegetables you enjoy in a salad. We used some grape tomatoes, mushrooms, radishes and cucumbers to round ours out.
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
- While waiting for the water to boil, you may opt to clean the shrimp. Using a pair of scissors or a serrated knife, make an incision down the backside of the shrimp, following the intestinal track. Eviscerate shrimp and rinse under cool water leaving shells intact.
- Once your water has come to a boil, pour it into a large bowl and add sugar, salt, boil seasonings and 2 cups of ice. Once the mixture has cooled, add shrimp and allow to brine for 20-25 minutes.
- Preheat your grill to high (mine was at 400F. Next time I would go 450-500F)
- While the shrimp is brining, prepare your salad and salad dressing. For the dressing, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, water and Cajun seasoning in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate dressing until ready to use.
- After 25 minutes, drain the brine and rinse the shrimp 2 or 3 times. Dry the shrimp thoroughly and skewer the shrimp. I like to use two skewers as it keeps the shrimp from spinning when you go to flip them.
- Rub the shrimp with olive oil and season with Dizzy Pig Swamp Venom or Cajun seasoning.
- Place your shrimp on the grill. It should only take a few minutes per side, depending on how hot your grill is. Keep an eye on your shrimp as it cooks quickly and is easy to over cook.
- Allow shrimp to cool and then peel. In a large bowl, combine shrimp, salad greens and any other vegetables you chose. Add dressing and gently toss to coat.
Nutritional Facts Per Serving*
148 cal, 6 g total fal (1 g sat. fat), 171 mg chol, 310 mg sodium, 5 g carb, 0 g fiber 19 g protein
Exchanges: 2.5 very lean meat, 1.5 vegetables, 0.5 fat
Carb Choices: 0
*I am not a nutritionist or an expert by any means. The nutritional facts came from a recipe I found that used pre-cooked shrimp and did not include the brining steps I added. Those may change some of the data. The type of mayonnaise (we used Duke’s Light Mayonnaise) and Cajun seasoning you choose might also affect the data. Use the nutritional facts as a loose guide.
Often times, when we think of the word salad, it brings a negative connotation to mind. Yeah, its healthy and we should eat more of it. But we also think bland and boring. This salad was anything but. The shrimp was plump and bursting with flavor, yet still tasting of the sea. The dressing, while simple, was tangy and refreshing. I love me some meat and potatoes, but I was happy eating this salad. One thing I kept thinking over and over again was that this is going to be a great salad when the oppressive heat of summer is bearing down on us. Light, cool and refreshing. Perfect for summer time. I’m already looking forward to enjoying this one again and again when the hot months descend upon us.