The month of July has been a brutal test of our endurance, here in the South. Daily high temperatures have ranged from 92° to 99°, with heat indexes as high as 110°, due to the high humidity. It’s been a long, relentless stretch of extreme heat, but I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know if you live somewhere on this planet.
One way to beat the heat is to have a cool, refreshing salad and one of my favorites is shrimp remoulade. I’ve made this many times and I rarely adhere to a strict recipe, and that’s one of the things I like most about the salad. It’s versatile and easy to make.
As usual, I looked at items I had on-hand to help steer the recipe. The parsley, from my garden, didn’t produce much this year, but it contributed to one of the essential ingredients in a respectable remoulade. We had a bunch of lemons that need to be used, so I used the juice in the remoulade, and I added the rest of the lemons to a half gallon of water, for the shrimp boil.
Any size of shrimp can be used. I used one and a half pounds raw, peeled, and deveined jumbo shrimp.
Finally, if you want to do it right, use Duke’s mayonnaise. I used to think that mayonnaise was mayonnaise, regardless of the brand. That’s until I performed a side-by-side taste test to compare Duke’s to another leading brand. I strongly suggest doing that with all sorts of store-bought items, when possible. I found that Duke’s has a rich, robust flavor that the other brand didn’t have. (I’m not getting money or sponsorship from Duke’s…I just like the stuff.)
Juice from 2 lemons (reserve lemon rinds for shrimp boil)
2/3 cup mayonnaise (Duke’s, of course!)
1 Tbs horseradish (I used horseradish mustard)
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp Louisiana hot sauce
½ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped (reserve stems for shrimp boil)
8 cups water
4 or 5 large bay leaves
1 Tbs Cajun seasoning
1 Tbs Old Bay seasoning (or any other seasoning mix that you like)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 ½ lbs raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)
8 ounces uncooked pasta (I used rigatoni)
1 head of romaine lettuce (trimmed)
¼ head of iceberg lettuce (cut into wedges)
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 green onion, chopped
1 or two pickled banana peppers, sliced
2 tsp capers
Trim the parsley and reserve the stems for the shrimp boil.
To make the remoulade sauce, start by adding lemon juice to a mixing bowl. Add mayonnaise, horseradish, Dijon mustard, hot sauce, and cayenne pepper. Add the chopped parsley. Mix thoroughly. Store for at least 20 minutes, or up to one day, in a refrigerator.
Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package. The finished pasta should be cooked just the point where it is soft, but not overcooked. Rinse the pasta under cool water and chill, until needed.
Bring 8 cups (one half gallon) of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add lemon rinds, parsley stems, Cajun seasoning, Old Bay seasoning and garlic.
Continue to boil for a minute and then turn the heat off.
Add shrimp and stir gently for about two minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink and are tender.
Strain the water from the shrimp. Run cold water over the shrimp until the shrimp are cool to the touch.
Add the shrimp and pasta to the remoulade and stir gently to coat the ingredients with the sauce.
Arrange romaine lettuce around the rim of a large platter and scatter a few wedges of iceberg lettuce.
Add the shrimp remoulade to the platter. Top with tomato slices, banana peppers, green onion, and capers. Serve chilled.