|Calypso Spice Rub Makes these Colossal Shrimp Pop!|
Nice cooling salads are right at home this time of year. With the heat hitting record highs week after week, we are all looking for a quicker and cooler way to get breakfast, lunch and dinner on the table, and at least try to follow the RDA. I came up with this nutritious and delicious plus versatile salad while on vacation last week in the beautiful Occoneechee State Park. I knew I wanted a nice bright salad along with our special steak dinner, commemorating our last night of another spectacular getaway, the other 5 nights went by so fast.
We decided on a nice set of Ribeyes, on sale at the time for a great price via Food Lion, some fresh Romaine, cherry tomatoes and Italian Herbs, as I was in the process of making my first homemade, handmade pasta, after watching a couple of tutorials. It had been on my mind for some time now and I made a promise to myself that I would execute while on vacation. I can't wait to share that experience with you too.
Back to the salads, I had some fantastic Colossal White Shrimp on board, as well as some salad topping with cranberries and candied pecans. I also picked up some shredded Monterey Jack Cheese with Jalapenos. I had a Calypso spice rub to try out and therein, the recipe was born.
The Romaine was large, crisp and fresh with leaves as large as a small long plate, so I decided to build the salad right on it. With the shrimp marinating since earlier in the day and my Blackstone grill, I was able to make light work of a nice Grilled Shrimp Salad to accompany the steaks, baked potatoes and pasta.
The meal was a lovely affair, with a couple of simple candles and a bottle of Red, the kiddoes imbibed on some Zero Sugar fruit beverage blend, which was thirst quenching and refreshing. We celebrated some of my personal achievements that had been forgone because of other obligations. Now, we could toast to those milestones and bright moments and be Thankful and Grateful for our each other and the many everyday blessings, often overlooked. I could take a moment to be proud, with my loved ones and a good meal, every aspect, prepared by me, a dinner that would have easily cost around $200 including tip for 4 people. The atmosphere was ambient and every aspect was spot on, like it was meant to be.
This salad can easily serve as a nice lunch or dinner meal by increasing the amount of shredded Romaine, adding more tomatoes, cucumber and a couple more shrimp. The added bonus is less dishes to clean afterwards, since you can literally eat the salad 'bowl'! Don't have large shrimp? No problem, just use what you have on hand and be careful not to overcook them.
1 large head Romaine lettuce, rinsed and patted dry
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 medium cucumber
4 oz. shredded Monterey Jack Cheese with Jalapenos
1 pkg. salad topper with Cranberries and Candied Pecans
Colossal Shrimp, shell on, but de-veined, mine came cleaned
Calypso dry rub, 1 tbsp. per pound
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 tbsp. per pound
SPST ( Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)
Olive Oil for drizzling
Dressings of your choice, I used Buttermilk Ranch and Tangy French
In a large resealable bag, combine shrimp, spice rub and olive oil.
Marry the flavors and place in fridge until ready to grill. This may be done up to a day ahead for Colossal shrimp.
Tear the larger, best and sturdiest leaves off and trim or break to make the boats for the salads, trimming from the root side, for however many salads you'll need.
Julienne the remaining lettuce, light and dark parts, enough to fill each bowl with about 1/2 to 3/4 c. lettuce per boat.
Trim and peel the off most of the cucumber skin lengthwise, alternating in strips, such that it creates a striped design. Cut the cucumber in 1 to 1 1/2 inch portions and core out seeds using a butter knife or small paring knife.
Place on paper towels to remove excess moisture, until ready to use.
Grill the marinated shrimp, flipping once, until done, careful not to overcook, time depends on the
size of the shrimp, mine took around 4 minutes total on a high griddle. Let rest before peeling.
Place shredded lettuce on each boat, then nestle a piece of cucumber among the lettuce and top with a cherry tomato, several if you like.
Peel shrimp down to segment before tail, for aesthetic and position on top of lettuce or as desired.
Sprinkle with cranberries and candied pecans.
Sprinkle with scant amount of cheese.
Drizzle with Olive Oil and SPST, as desired.
Serve Dressings on the side.
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