Thursday, July 1, 2010

Chop Chop Salad with Gingered Shrimp and with thanks to Daniel Boulud

Who doesn’t love Daniel Boulud?  His restaurants are on everyone’s New York Top 10 list from Daniel to his latest DBGB on the Bowery, of all places.    I have particular soft spot for his Bar Boulud, across from Lincoln Center and very close to home.  It was there that my daughter-in-law told us that I was going to be a grandfather for the first time.  And the food is pretty good as well!   I’m told Daniel is a very fine fellow and wonderful to work with. I follow him religiously in Elle Décor
magazine where he is the lead food writer.   I’m never disappointed in what he publishes there.   This salad is a wonderful example.  It’s an homage to DBGB’s close proximity to Chinatown, with a wonderful Asian influenced dressing and an Asian marinade for the shrimp. And with the 4th of July upon us, this will be a fantastic addition to the holiday weekend.

I don’t think you can have enough salad recipes for summer.  It’s the only time of the year we really entertain at lunch and not just when we have houseguests.  This salad was a huge hit when I made it most recently.  I did change it over from Daniel’s original—his Chop Chop has calamari.   Mine relies on those shrimp I love from Costco.  

When you look at the recipe it appears complex.  It actually breaks down into very time-manageable segments.  You can pickle the mushrooms days in advance.  (And please do not leave them out—if you’ve never had this taste, it is well worth the minimal effort.) Then you prepare the marinade for the shrimp and they go into the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.  Closer to serving time, you can put the dressing together.  Finally there’s considerable chopping of vegetables – even some watermelon - to be complete the salad. Here "Chop Chop" really lives up to its name.  So put this on your list.  It’s fantastic.  Here’s the recipe:

Recipe for Chop Chop Salad with Gingered Shrimp
For the Gingered Shrimp

1 lb. raw shrimp, deveined (about 24)
1 tsp. chili flake
2 tsp. fresh ginger, finely grated
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1 tsp. garlic, chopped
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground white pepper

Combine the shrimp with all remaining ingredients and refrigerate, covered, for 3 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, strain the seafood, reserving 3 tablespoons of the oil. Heat the reserved oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and sauté 4 to 5 minutes.  Check seasoning and serve either warm on top of the salad.

For the Pickled Mushrooms

1/2 lb. enoki or honshimeji mushrooms, trimmed and rinsed—since I couldn’t find these, I used regular white organic mushrooms.
1 cups rice-wine vinegar
½ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. salt
Place the mushrooms in a medium bowl. Simmer the rice-wine vinegar with the sugar and salt to dissolve, then pour over the mushrooms to submerge. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or up to 4 days. Strain before using.

For the Ginger Sesame Dressing

½ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely grated
¼ cup rice-wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 tsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
½ cup grape-seed or vegetable oil
Salt, pepper, and Tabasco to taste
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, ginger, rice-wine vinegar, orange juice, and soy sauce. Slowly whisk in the sesame and grape-seed oils until emulsified. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Tabasco.

For the Salad

2 heads romaine lettuce, washed and cored, leaves sliced into ½"-wide strips

1 cucumber, rinsed, quartered lengthwise, and sliced
2 small carrots, sliced into thin ribbons

½ bunch red radishes, washed and thinly sliced

¼ ripe red watermelon, cut into ½" dice

1 red pepper, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced

½ bunch cilantro, washed, leaves only

½ bunch scallions, sliced

1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced

1 tsp. white sesame seeds

1 tsp. black sesame seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

When ready to serve, toss salad ingredients with ginger-sesame dressing and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and top with gingered shrimp and calamari and pickled mushrooms.
Serves 4.

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