Friday, August 15, 2014

"Mixt Salads" - Siam (Salad) - Gulf Shrimp with Mango and Green Papaya (Oh, so good!)

Date I made this recipe:  August 11, 2014

Mixt Salads – A Chef's Bold Creations by Andrew Swallow with Ann Volkwein
Published by: Ten Speed Press
ISBN:  978-1-58008-057-6
Purchased at:  Hennepin  County Used Book Library Sale
Recipe:  Siam – Gulf Shrimp with Mango and Green Papaya – p. 119-120

I don't know why, but it often takes my brain a while to start craving fresh vegetables and green, leafy salads, usually (and regrettably) about the time that the "growing" season ends.

Not so this year.

In the blink of an eye, I got my "I have GOT to have a salad" groove on thus, Mixt Salads.  But wouldn't you know, the salad I chose didn't have a green leaf in sight, instead utilizing fresh mangoes and papaya and herbs. Oh, and shrimp.  (I love shrimp).  And the hilarious and ironic thing is that this salad was included in the book's "Winter" section.  I did not want to wait that long.  But come winter, when I'm cursing Nature for dropping all that white stuff otherwise known as "snow" on us, I may have to bite the bullet and make this salad again as it was just that good.

First, there's the very yummy marinade made with orange juice, jalapenos, garlic, ginger and ground pepper.  Never mind the salad, give me these marinated shrimp any day!  And I must confess that I didn't grill the shrimp as instructed because the shrimp I bought were too small for the grill and I couldn't find the grill pan so I sautéed the shrimp in the marinade for a couple of minutes until the shrimp was cooked and wow – fabulous!  I feel a new party appetizer coming on....  (Please note that you need to marinade for four hours before cooking.)

The shrimp are placed on a salad of daikon radish, mangoes, papaya, red pepper, shallots and herbs and there are instructions for plating the salad so it looks like the beauty shot on page 118.  And the beauty shot is great but let's get real:  put it all in a bowl and toss it.  No fuss, no muss, no bother. 

The instructions also call for julienned slices of mango and papaya and yes, we have a mandolin (not the instrument mandolin, but a kitchen mandolin) but again, I'd have to take time out to find it and assemble it and besides, I manage a pretty decent julienne all by myself, thank you!  Besides, slicing, dicing and chopping are my idea of relaxation and I was in a "relaxing" kind of mood.  (The other reason to avoid a mandolin is that it can cause serious hand-harm if used incorrectly! Let's just say the blade is very sharp.  Very.)

So once you slice and dice and grill and whatnot, you add the dressing and then you can top the thing off with Chipotle Honey.  And don't you know, I had one chipotle chili left in my refrigerator.  Reuse, recycle!

Now I've said before that I am rather a woos when it comes to heat (of the chili pepper kind) and this dish had enough heat without the addition of the chipotle honey as it called for 1 ½ teaspoons of minced Thai bird chili and the marinade contained 2 tablespoons of jalapeno.  So true confession:  I deliberately shopped for the tiniest Thai chili I could find and since I lived to tell about it, I'm thinking that was just the right amount.  Because 1 ½ teaspoons is asking for it and you heard it here first.  But kudos to those whose palate (and stomach) can take the heat!  Yes, I know—"if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen," but I stayed in and braved the chili heat and then cursed myself for not wearing gloves as I felt the sting of the chilies the rest of the night.  Serves me right.

Now, not that this book didn't have a ton of delicious looking and sounding recipes but honestly, now that I made this recipe, all the other ones pale in comparison.  This is not necessarily a bad thing for me, considering I only make one recipe per book featured in this blog but you should go where no other blogger has gone and make something else so that you, too, can get your salad fix on. 

PS—I was also in a noodle kind of mood so I made some (cold) rice noodles to go with this salad.  You might want to follow suit.

PS2—And one more thing:  shout out to Ann Volkwein, who worked on this book with author, Andrew Swallow.  I met Ann several years ago in NYC and almost worked with her on a dining guide for Minneapolis and St. Paul.  Alas, it did not come to pass but I always get excited when I see her name on a cookbook.

Siam (Salad) – Gulf Shrimp with Mango and Green Papaya – serves 4
For the marinade
2 cups fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
Freshly ground black pepper
20 large fresh Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined

For the dressing
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 ½ teaspoons minced Thai bird chile
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup unsalted peanuts (optional)

For the chipotle honey
2teaspoons chopped canned chipotle chili
¾ cup honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad
1 daikon radish, diced
2 mangoes, cored, peeled and julienned
1 green papaya, peeled, seeded, and julienned
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 shallots, finely diced
Leaves from 1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch basil, chiffonaded
1 bunch mint, chiffonaded

To make the marinade, combine the orange juice, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a bowl.  Add the shrimp and let marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

To make the dressing, combine the lime juice, chile, vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, lemongrass, and sugar in a blender.  Slowly add the canola oil in a stream, and blend until emulsified.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 300F (for the peanuts) and the grill to high.

Spread the peanuts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.  Let cool, then chop and set aside.

To make the chipotle honey, add the honey and the chipotle chile to a blender and pulse to combine.  Set aside.

Remove the shrimp from the marinade, season with salt and pepper, and grill for 4 to 5 minutes, or until opaque, flipping once.  (Ann's Note:  I sautéed the shrimp for a couple of minutes in the marinade instead of grilling them.)

Ann's Note: To make the salad you can follow the author's directions below or combined all the ingredients except the chipotle honey in a bowl, toss and then drizzle the honey on top of each plate to taste.  Add peanuts if desired.  It has the same effect as following the directions below but with a lot less fuss.

To plate each serving, combine ¼ daikon, 1 cup mango, 1 cup papaya, 3 tablespoons bell pepper, 1 tablespoon shallot, 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, 2 tablespoon basil and 2 teaspoons mint with 2 ½ tablespoons of the dressing.  Place 5 shrimp on top, garnish with 2 tablespoons of the roasted peanuts, and drizzle with 1 ½ teaspoons of the chipotle honey.

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