Thursday, July 31, 2008

Shrimp and wild rice salad

The blogoshpere hasn’t heard from me for a few days. We made so much food last weekend for the picnic that we’ve been grazing on leftovers. Frankly, I’m ready to move on.

I got a newsletter from the Food Network the other day. In it was a black rice and prawn salad recipe. The rice is to be made black by the use of squid ink. I don’t know where to buy that. So I decided to use the basic premise of the recipe and make a concoction of my own.

Shrimp and wild rice salad

1 1/4 cups wild rice and long grain rice mix
¼ cup bamboo shoots, cut into 1” pieces
2 scallions, chopped
¼ cup black olives, pitted and quartered
½ red bell pepper, cut into 1” strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
paprika, to taste
1/8 cup chives, chopped
lemon juice
12 oz. shrimp, peeled
1/2 yellow jalapeno chili, seeded and chopped
Olive oil

Cook rice according to package directions. Drain and let cool.
Season shrimp with paprika, salt and pepper, and sauté in oil and butter. Set aside.
In the same pan, sauté garlic, scallions and red bell pepper until al dente. Set aside to cool. Toss in chili pepper and olives.
In a large bowl, combine, shrimp, rice, vegetables, bamboo shoots and olives. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Garnish with more scallions, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and serve.

One of our summer staples, once Colorado-grown tomatoes become available is Insalata caprese, or tomato, basil, mozzarella salad. We prefer using smoked mozzarella for the extra flavor. It’s very simple: sliced tomatoes, basil leaves and slices of mozzarella drizzled with some olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. It seems like the perfect accompaniment to tonight’s shrimp and wild rice salad.

I’ve mentioned the “Manager’s Specials” and “Clearance Sale” areas at King Soopers and Safeway respectively. I had my eye on some boneless leg of lamb at Safeway and had made a mental note to check the bin starting on Saturday. The sell-by date was Monday and sometimes they put things on sale 2 days ahead.

Well, they didn’t put the lamb on sale on Saturday and I didn’t check for it on Sunday. On our way home from the gym Monday morning I scooted inside the store once again. Alas, the lamb appeared to be gone. However, on Tuesday, while doing some general shopping I took another look. There were 3 packages of lamb, not in the sale area, but right where they had been all along. I missed it on Monday because the packages had been turned upside down and my cursory glance didn’t recognize them for what they were.

I summoned the meat man and pointed out to him that the lamb was now one day past its sell-by date. He reduced the price by 50% and I came home a happy camper.

My idea had been to make “corned” lamb, but that very day I had just put a brisket in the corning brine where it will languish for a week. I tossed the lamb in the freezer. It’s very comforting to know it’s there.

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