The Booze Hound and I just got back from a faaaaaabulous trip to Switzerland. But rather than go on and on about the amazing bread, meat, cheese, and CHOCOLATE offerings that made me drool/froth/ignore the hormonal feedback circuit in my brain that tells me ‘stop eating or you will go home with a muffin top,’ I need to talk about something that happened before our trip that brings you the delightful recipe I share with you today.
My mom graciously offered to drive down to pick up our babe, take her back up to PA with her, and keep her the whole week we were gone. Cha-ching!!! The caveat was that she needed to pick her up a few days before we left, leaving me childless for 2 whole days prior to us leaving.
‘But,’ I responded. ‘What will I do???’
Yes, I actually said that. And thought that. And then slowly, one by one, ideas of how I could spend my time crept into my head like a thief in the night. First there was a deep-tissue sports massage I’ve been meaning to get since, um, forever. Then there was a desperately-needed hair appointment. Then the floodgates opened and there were French manicures, tandem workout dates with the Booze Hound, romantic dinner a deux at one of our fave restaurants, and the general ability to be out of the house between the hours of 2 and 4 pm, otherwise known as sacred nap time when the babe is in town. I even went plan-less one day for lunch and brought home one of my fave takeout salads, which I ate in front of the TV, feet propped up, watching the scene where Braveheart bellows out ‘FREEDOMMMMM!!!!’ on loop.
HAH! Totally kidding. I think it was ‘The Devil Wears Prada.’ Either way, livin’ on the edge!!!!
But one of the most important decisions during this 2-day bender was what to make for dinner. Sure, we could have eaten out every meal, but I also thought about taking advantage of the situation and making something the babe wouldn’t overly enjoy. It had to be easy- didn’t want to spend my whole day cooking when there were so many other daytime activities to pursue. And it had to be fabulous because, well, it just did.
I decided on Roasted Shrimp Salad, a recipe I have been eyeing for ages. Little one isn’t the biggest seafood fan, so the thought of peeling and butterflying all those shrimp for a meal that might not rev her engine was not my cup o’ tea. But did it ever rev our engine. OMG, the bright flavors of the orange + dill combined with the complete bliss of roasting rather than boiling the shrimp AND the leftover-friendly form of a cold shrimp salad rather than needing to warm it up the next day for lunch and basically have to put a sign on your from door that says: ‘Warning! House smells like the ocean. Not in the Hawaiian Tropics coconut sunscreen way, but in the docks of New Jersey fishery way. Only enter if you come bearing a Yankee candle. Thanks.’
This salad is perfect for a picnic or for a brown-bag lunch all year round because the flavors are so bright, so delicious, and it’s so simple to make. I mean, the two dominant flavors are dill and orange, and my personal belief is that there can never be enough foods with dill and/or orange. My hope is that it’s also a perfect gateway shrimp dish for our sweet babe, spring-boarding her aquatic palate to infinity and beyond.
The Buzz Lightyear reference beautifully represents our transition back to life in Knoxville from a few days of living one plate of Swiss raclette to the next (a sweet transition home, of course, to our Toy-Story-loving baby girl but damn… does it feel good to get away for some grown-up time!!!). Lots of supercalifragilistic dishes coming to the Food Hound from the SIX back issues of cooking magazines I luxuriously read in the peace and quiet of transatlantic flights, but for now, get on this shrimp. You will be soooooo happy. 3-2-1 GO!!!
- 3 pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied
- 1 T olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ c mayonnaise
- 1 T orange zest
- 2 T freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 T white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup minced fresh dill
- 2 T small-diced red onion
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with olive oil, 1 tsp sat and ½ tsp pepper. Spread the shrimp in a single layer on a roasting pan covered with parchment paper, and roast for 6 to 8 minutes, just until pink, firm and cooked through. Allow to cool for 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. When the shrimp are cool, add them to the sauce and toss. Add the dill and red onion and toss well. The flavors will improve if you allow the salad to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Otherwise, chill and serve at room temperature.