Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Recipe Dedication

To my friend & neighbor Elizabeth, who is moving back to St. Louis to start on the next big adventure!  (I'll make this recipe again this weekend so I can add a different photo)!

(Shrimp Salad with Tarragon and Cucumber)

To brine shrimp, dissolve ¾ cup kosher salt in 2 cups boiling water.  Allow brining solution to cool completely.  Add 3.5 cups of ice water and raw shrimp.  Allow to marinate for 25-30 minutes.  Remove shrimp from brining solution and rinse thoroughly (if the shrimp need to be deveined, now would be a good time to do it - you can slit the shrimp up the back with pair of manicure scissors).

½ lb brined shrimp
1 large shallot, sliced thin
1.5 tblsp. olive oil
½ tsp. dried tarragon or 1 tblsp. fresh tarragon leaves chopped
2 tblsp. balsamic vinegar (sherry vinegar or other sweet vinegar will work too!)
½ cup uncooked orzo
½ cucumber, cut into small dice
1 tblsp. fresh parsley

Set oven rack to highest position and preheat the broiler.  Place shrimp in jelly roll pan, and broil for 2-3 minutes on each side.  Allow to cool and peel if necessary. Cut into small pieces if large.

Cook the orzo according to package directions - it should be a little firm to the bite so it can soak up the dressing.  Drain and refresh under cold water.

Heat olive oil in small saute pan.  Saute the shallot until translucent.  Add the tarragon.  Deglaze the pan with vinegar but do not allow to boil away. Remove from heat.  Add the shrimp pieces and sprinkle with the parsley.  Allow to cool.

ASSEMBLY:  Mix the cooled orzo, cooled shrimp mixture, and the cucumber pieces in a bowl.  You may need to add a little more oil and vinegar if you feel it’s too dry for a pasta salad.  Salt and pepper to taste. Should keep a couple of days in the fridge.  Serve cool or at room temperature. 

This makes 2-3 servings.  If you increase it,  there is no need to increase the amount of salt and water in the brining solution.  All other ingredients can be doubled.