Unplugging is the new black. Everyone is doing it. It’s the new Meatless Monday. People are giving up Facebook and Twitter and all sorts of inane time wasters.
People are unplugging once a week or up to a month at a time. And I followed suit. But it was purely by accident.
My computer crashed on me earlier this week due to a virus (actually, there were 21 problems the technician encountered) and I was out of commission. Which meant I actually had to “do things” to keep me occupied.
I never realized how I lived in front of this box. While I didn’t choose to “unplug,” I have to admit that it was absolutely divine. I accomplished so many things, it was unbelievable.
To start, I finished planting my herb garden, talked to lots of people on the phone (no emails, but I actually spoke to human beings), finished making gazpacho with the gorgeous tomatoes I brought home from the farmers market on Sunday and had enough tomatoes leftover to make tomato sauce, too. And then I made this super simple yet satisfying shrimp salad.
I did all of these things because I had the time and because it was 100 degrees outside. The tomato sauce went in the freezer for a rainy day. (Yes, please let it rain!) And the gazpacho and shrimp salad were dinner. Gazpacho only gets better with time, so it’s also lunch, dinner, lunch.
So unplug your computers, turn off your “smart” phones and reconnect with the world in a better way.
The simplicity of this salad is what I love. Serve it over a bunch of mixed greens and a side of pickled vegetables or make a sandwich. This light and tasty treat will cool you off and make you wish you were sitting by the ocean. If you want to kick it up, use lobster and make a fabulous lobster roll or burger.
To cook the shrimp
- 1 lb. shrimp thawed, with the shells on and heads off
- 10 peppercorns whole
- 1/2 lemon squeezed and dropped into the water
To make the shrimp salad
- 3 celery stalks finely diced, I like to use the hearts
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise and more if needed
- 1 dash Old Bay seasoning optional, about 1/8 teaspoon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Italian flat-leaf parsley chopped
Place the shrimp in a pot and cover with water. Add about 10 whole peppercorns and squeeze the juice of half a lemon (reserve the other half) and then drop the lemon in the pot.
Turn the heat on high and let the shrimp cook for 2-4 minutes, until pink and curled. Strain the shrimp in a colander, place the colander back on the pot and toss some ice on top of the shrimp to help them cool quickly.
While the shrimp are cooling, chop the celery and place in a bowl. Squeeze the remaining lemon half over the celery and toss to combine.
Once the shrimp are cool enough to peel, peel them and save the shells. Alternatively, you can remove the shells prior to cooking. Either way, place the shells in a freezer bag and place the bag in the freezer...these make an amazing shrimp stock. Dice the shrimp into bite-sized pieces. I chopped my U-10's (10 shrimp per pound) into about 6-7 pieces each.
Add the shrimp to the celery and lemon juice and top with 1/4 cup mayonnaise. Stir to combine and, if needed, add another tablespoon of mayo. Season with a dash of Old Bay, salt and pepper. Stir well and taste. Adjust seasoning if needed.
Sprinkle in the chopped parsley, stir well and refrigerate until chilled, about 45 minutes.
Serve over a bed of lettuce and a side of raw veggies or make a shrimp salad sandwich. Refrigerate any leftovers.