Cool Shrimp Remoulade

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.

Stay cool!

Pizza Salad

On my never-ending quest to reinvent leftover food I was recently faced with a dilemma.

To be honest, the root of the problem can be traced back to me.  I made two large pizzas for three people.  What was I thinking?!  All of the leftover pizza was portioned in sets of three slices, wrapped in foil, and placed in the refrigerator.  And, there it sat, practically untouched, for three days. 

It wasn’t bad pizza…at least I didn’t think it was bad.  The problem was, there was too much of it and I shouldn’t have expected people to eat leftover pizza for days on end.  If I was still in college, then yes, leftover pizza might be all you get.  Be happy to have something to eat.  Live with it. 

So, I either had to eat all of the leftover pizza or figure out a way to reinvent it.

Pizza Salad

(serves 3)


3 slices of leftover pizza (with various toppings)

Iceberg lettuce (one third of a head of lettuce, rough chopped)

1/3  cup Kalamata olives

¼ cup Dried Parmesan cheese

Vinegar and Oil dressing, to taste (I used store bought Italian dressing)


Slice the pizza toppings away from the crust with a knife.  Allow the pizza topping to warm to room temperature.

Cut the thick crusty edge from the pizza and toast briefly in an oven.

Fill serving bowls with cold chopped iceberg lettuce.

Drizzle salad dressing on salad.

Rough chop the toppings and scatter them across the salads.

Add chopped Kalamata olives and top with parmesan cheese. 

Serve the salad cold with warm breadsticks (formerly known as pizza crust).

Caesar Salad

A good Caesar salad is hard to resist.  Crisp romaine lettuce and crunchy croutons are the perfect vehicle for the robust, memorable dressing that accompanies it. 

Italian immigrant, Caesar Cardini is credited with this Italian-American staple.  Caesar immigrated to America in the early 20th century and eventually made his way to southern California and Tijuana, Mexico, where he operated restaurants.  He trademarked his famous salad dressing in 1948.

His storied life is not too different than the many other immigrants that have made their homes here.  It is no surprise that many of our common, day-to-day meals are a result of the imagination and ingenuity of immigrants, like Caesar Cardini.   Immigrants have come to define who we are, as a nation. 


2 cups Italian bread (or any other suitable bread for croutons)

1 Tbs olive oil

3 anchovies (packed in oil)

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 egg yolk

2 Tbs fresh lemon juice

2 tsp Dijon mustard

¼ cup olive oil

3 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese

1 large head of Romaine lettuce, chopped into large pieces

½ cup red onion, chopped

2 hardboiled eggs, sliced (optional)


Cut the loaf of bread into 1” thick slices. Lay the pieces of bread directly onto an oven rack and heat for about 15 minutes at 200°. Dry the bread but don’t toast it.  Remove the dried bread from the oven and cut into 1” cubes.  Toss the cubed bread in a bowl while drizzling a scant amount of olive oil.  Put the croutons on a baking sheet and toast at 300° for about 15 minutes.  I let mine go a bit too long in the oven and they tasted nutty.  (Note of the brown hue of the croutons in the photo.)

Smear the anchovies, garlic, and salt on a cutting board with the flat side of a large, kitchen knife. Keep working the mixture with the knife until it forms a paste.  I have to admit, I licked my fingers after preparing the paste.  The anchovy and garlic was intense, but oh, so good, especially since I am crazy about anchovy! 

Whisk the egg yolk, lemon juice, and mustard in a bowl.  Once blended, introduce the olive oil very slowly by drizzling the oil into the bowl and whisking briskly.  Keep whisking until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy.  Add a little water and whisk some more.   Add just enough water to achieve a creamy consistency, like you might find in store bought, creamy salad dressings.  Add the anchovy paste and Parmesan and whisk until thoroughly mixed.  Transfer the dressing to a large salad bowl. 

Lay the Romaine lettuce horizontally on a cutting board and make 1 ½” to 2” cuts from one end to the other.  Romaine is a dense, compact lettuce and that makes it desirable for this salad.  Add the chopped lettuce to the bowl and toss gently to incorporate the dressing.  Add the croutons, onion and toss a few more times.  Top with sliced hard boiled eggs, if you like.  Sprinkle a little more Parmesan cheese on top and that’s it. 

Now, since I mentioned that I love anchovies, I have to say that I enjoy adding strips of anchovy on top of the salad, radiating from the center like sun rays, but I know that anchovies are not adored by everyone.  The amount of anchovy in the dressing should satisfy anchovy lovers without offending the rest of the crowd.  In fact, the lemon juice and Dijon mustard tame the anchovy flavor remarkably well.  Balance the dressing according to your own taste. 

If you are cooking for someone who absolutely despises anchovies, consider finding a new friend consider substituting the anchovy in the dressing with a few teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce.  Everyone loves Worcestershire sauce, right?  Just don’t tell ‘em that Worcestershire sauce contains anchovy!