It’s no secret that Cobb Salad is a personal fave. But how to turn up the flavors, yet keep the bacon, egg, and cheese goodness? Enter Sriracha Grilled Shrimp and Buttermilk Chipotle Dressing. Say hello to your new best friend – the Southwestern Grilled Shrimp Cobb Salad. Perfection!
If you only need to know one thing about me, know this. I am mad for late summer farmers’ markets. I will probably go to five this week. Okay, I agree…..a little obsessive. But, I have a favorite farmer (plus The Cheese Lady) for every ingredient in this salad. I’m not saying you have to do the same – or that you can’t just go to the supermarket for all this – but I AM SAYING you have to make this NOW. Southwestern Grilled Shrimp Cobb Salad is all about the season at hand! Fresh sweet corn. Heirloom tomatoes. Sprouts. Flowers. Herbs. Oh my!
The Classic Cobb Salad
Instead of debating where this salad came from and why it is so called (almost certainly a 20s- or 30s-era salad from Hollywood’s Brown Derby, owned by Robert Cobb), what do you say we just dive in? The classic has greens – often iceberg or romaine, chicken, tomatoes, avocado, hard boiled egg, Roquefort and bacon. In other words, what could be bad? You may find it already tossed, as well as deconstructed with tidy little rows of ingredients. While it barely needs a dressing, the rich cheese and bacon beg for a quiet whisper of shallot vinaigrette.
The Shrimp Cobb Salad
I’m not gonna lie. I am a bit conflicted here. I have a passion for spins and tweaks and making the old new again. But the Classic Cobb is pretty much as good as it gets. I was having a party and wanted a make-ahead all-in-one salad-entree and I thought this would fit the bill….a real crowd-pleaser. But I decided as long as I keep all the favorite components, I could give it a global palate spin. Enter shrimp, corn, and chipotle. Some of the ingredients were direct swaps – chicken for shrimp, roasted for marinated and grilled, Roquefort for Hatch Gouda, and shallot vinaigrette for Buttermilk Chipotle Dressing. Others were too good to mess with – bacon, eggs, tomatoes, and avocado. Then there were a few things I decided to slide in because I could.
Look at these stunningly gorgeous plums. What a perfect sweet and juicy foil to all that buttermilk tang and chipotle smoke! Michigan produces a wide range of both Japanese and European varieties. Those yellow/green beauties are Shiros; the golden/orange-ish rounds are Bubblegum; the small red orbs are Methley; and the violet-blue ovals are Vibrants. I also added some corn which brought some more lovely sweetness, but bonus……….a nice crunch and texture contrast, as well.
I think deconstructed salads are among the few places where more is more. Most often in food, less is more. But if you are going to let people decide what to add to their plate, why not give them a variety to chose from?
Marinating the Shrimp
Shrimp is an-oh-so simple thing to throw on the grill, and of course is good grilled and chilled, making this the perfect make-ahead entree. The marinade is dead easy – lime juice, olive oil, Sriracha, Tabasco and some spices. If you haven’t tried the Chipotle Tabasco, give it a whirl. It adds a nice smokiness to the marinade. I never like to marinate any seafood or fish for too long, because the acid will start to “cook” it. If you prep the marinade first, and add the shrimp while prepping the rest of the salad and getting the grill ready, you will time it just right. Then only a few minutes on the fire for each side, and you and your shrimp will be ready to chill.
Composing the Salad
The directions for the marinade and creamy dressing are sufficiently detailed, but I am leaving the quantities for the fixin’s – or even whether or not to add them at all – up to you. How big is your platter? How many are you serving? How much do you love/hate sprouts?
Just keep in mind colors and textures as you go to arrange your platter. It’s a bounty of beautiful ingredients so this should be the fun part once your chopping is done. If you need to prep things further ahead than when you want to compose it, just bag each ingredient separately and arrange closer to serving time. Your guests will be dazzled! Enjoy!!
This Southwestern Grilled Shrimp Cobb Salad is a kicked up spin on an old classic. A few simple ingredient swaps, along with a zesty marinade for the shrimp and a creamy Buttermilk Chipotle Dressing, and this one-platter-is-a-meal comes together quickly. What a great way to celebrate with the bounty of late summer!
Marinade (makes enough for two pounds of shrimp):
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon Sriracha
1 teaspoon Chipotle Tabasco
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Buttermilk Chipotle Dressing (makes 2 1/2 cups):
1 cup Greek non-fat plain yogurt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
chipotles in adobo – one big and one small, more or less to taste
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves
Salad fixin’s (mains):
shrimp, raw, deveined, peeled and tail on
Little Gems, baby Romaine lettuce, trimmed and halved
heirloom cherry and grape tomatoes, halved
eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and halved
bacon, crispy and crumbled
avocado, peeled and chopped
Southwestern cheese, grated (I found Hatch Chili Gouda)
corn, shucked, boiled, and cut from the cob
plums (or other stone fruit), pitted and sliced
Salad fixin’s (garnishes):
limes, cut in wedges or halved, if small
edible flowers, like Nasturtium
fresh sprouts, like radish, watercress and sunflower
crunchy topper (see note)
Prepare the marinade: Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate, up to one hour, while you prepare the other ingredients.
Prepare the Buttermilk Chipotle Dressing: Place all ingredients except the cilantro in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to chop, then process until creamy. Add the cilantro and pulse several times to chop roughly. Transfer to a glass jar with a lid and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
Grill the shrimp: Drain any excess marinade from the shrimp and grill over high heat for 2 – 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and reserve until cooled.
Assemble the salad: Once the shrimp is cool enough to not wilt your salad, compose the salad using all the main ingredients, with an eye toward color and textures. Arrange the garnishes on top. If you are serving later, reserve the bacon and crispy topping until serving time. Cover and refrigerate.
To serve: Add the bacon and crispy topping and serve with the Buttermilk Chipotle Dressing.
Crunchy toppers: there are a lot of different crunchy toppers available in the crouton section these days. I used the fried jalapeno slices, but you will also find the basic fried onion rings, as well as red peppers, tortillas and more. Chef’s choice.
Marinade is enough for two pounds of shrimp and Buttermilk Chipotle Dressing makes 2 1/2 cups.
Prep Time:1 hour
Cook Time:30 minutes
Keywords: Cobb Salad, Shrimp, Chipotle Dressing
I want to take a moment to send a heartfelt note of gratitude for all those that supported me spiritually, morally and physically in my Ration Challenge journey earlier this summer. Your generous financial support of this campaign put us at the very top of the fundraising leaderboard among the 40,000 challengers from around the world. Together we raised enough to feed 35 refugees for an entire year. Globally, that number is 16,829! Way to go!! With deep gratitude. xoxo, kk
Winter Winds into Spring? Is that winds like a pathway or winds like gale-force nor’easter…AGAIN? It’s the first day of spring and NYC is getting hit with the fourth nor’easter in three weeks. This one is coming with perhaps 16″ of snow. My stomach says “winter be gone”. But the howling winds outside say “in due time.” So let’s agree to disagree. This shrimp & white bean dish with a flavor-packed pesto is a compromise. We CAN all get along. The beans and tomatoes cooked down to a hearty stew, but the pesto is tricked out with mint and parsley. I see you, spring.
Upgrade the Pesto
I know how you roll and I got you covered. Shortcut cooking. And before I digress on why I am not a fan of the term “hack”, let’s just acknowledge that shortcuts are what the pros do. Know when you can use a convenience product, like store-bought pesto, and when you need to put on the apron. I am right there with you on not re-inventing the wheel when it comes to already made products. But let’s face it, the pesto can be a little one-note samba-ish. No real depth of flavor. So with only about ten minutes of pan roasting garlic, while picking mint and parsley off the stem, and zesting a lemon, we can add real layered flavor and bring some zip to this dish.
Kick Up the Shrimp
The spice in the shrimp is just enough to make you notice and pay attention. Hellllllo, shrimp. Welcome. You need to give it at least a little kick to soar above the tomatoes and beans which can be bland left to their own devices. It’s all about building the flavors. This only needs a 15 minute marinade while you move on with the rest, then a quick sauté of two minutes per side and you are done.
Prepare the Beans
Nothing goes better together than shrimp & white beans. And nothing makes me happier than opening up cans and dumping into a pan. Okay, okay, it’s best to rinse the white beans, but come on!! I practically pioneered the dump & stir technique and I bring it to you on the reg. Throw the remaining ingredients in a large sauté pan and let ‘er rip. You’ll want to add the pesto last to maintain some green. Show of hands: how many knew that cannellini beans are white kidneys?
Garlic, shallots, lemon, mint plus shrimp & white beans and tomatoes. What’s not to like? Take that pan above and divvy it into bowls, then top with the sautéed shrimp, a sprinkle of fresh mint and a crisp white wine and you are all set. Oh, did I forget? A big crusty loaf of sourdough is mandatory. So many carbs, so little time.
You could really serve shrimp & white beans almost anytime of year, except perhaps the dead of summer (unless cold), but this dish is a polite nod to the arrival of spring. Comfy and cozy, the robust stew of beans and tomatoes, topped with spicy shrimp is lifted up by a pesto that has been doctored with mint and lemon. Yum!
8 cloves of garlic, not peeled
7 ounces prepared pesto
1 cup tightly packed mint leaves
1 cup tightly packed parsley leaves
Zest of one lemon
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided per below
2 or 3 15.5-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Garnish with fresh mint, cut into chiffonade (thin strips)
Prepare the pesto:
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, roast the garlic, stirring from time to time, until the skins have charred evenly, about 8 – 10 minutes. Cool and peel.
Transfer the pesto to a blender or food processor and add the garlic, mint, parsley, and lemon zest. Blend until well-combined.
Marinate the shrimp:
In a mixing bowl, combine two Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, Sriracha, and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Add the shrimp and set aside for 15 minutes.
Prepare the beans:
Add the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil to the large sauté pan. Heat over medium heat and add the shallots, sautéing until soft and lightly golden, about 4 minutes.
Add tomatoes and their juices, salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer, cooking until liquid is reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add beans and pesto and warm through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Cook the shrimp:
In another sauté pan, cook the shrimp over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. You may need to do this in batches.
Divide the bean-tomato mixture among 6 bowls. Top with the shrimp and garnish with fresh mint.
Shrimp is sold in one-pound bags, by size. A one-pound bag marked 16 – 20 contains between 16 and 20 shrimp. The higher the number, the smaller the shrimp.
This can easily stretch to 8 servings with the addition of the third cans of beans and of tomatoes, especially if you are using the smaller size shrimp (and therefore have more per pound).
Makes great leftovers, but you may want to add a little liquid if the beans have soaked it all up. Broth, tomato juice, white wine, or even a little water. Whatever you have on hand will work.
Even though #NationalShrimpDay is meant to be a 24-hour thing, I feel it’s more like a birthday and should really be celebrated for a week, a month, or even a season! I mean if Bubba can do it, you can too. “Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. There’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That…that’s about it.” Wait, Bubba, Wait!! You missed Sriracha & Chipotle Spicy Grilled Shrimp!
Sriracha & Chipotle Spicy Grilled Shrimp
It’s time you rip that cover off the grill and crank up a hot fire. This dish – loosely translated from a visit to the Rhode Island cousins – is great in pretty much any meal category. To paraphrase Bubba, shrimp appetizer, shrimp salad, shrimp entrée, and who doesn’t like shrimp for in lieu of dessert? Especially if it comes with a crisp Pinot Gris!!! Summer wine, I’m coming for you. Serve this with a fresh green salad and, if you’re game, roll back one blog post and whip up a batch of the Edamame and Chickpea Fritters with chili dipping sauce, conveniently linked below. This all simply screams “winter is dead to me!”
I like to keep things simple, especially as the days get longer and the temps heat up. Less time in the kitchen means more time for enjoying the meal. So here we have a classic dump and stir recipe. And like all sea and stream creatures, marinating is kept to a minimum – no more than 30 minutes. If you are building a charcoal fire, the timing is perfect. Start the marinade, then build the fire. When the coals turn white, you are good to go.
Use whatever size shrimp you prefer, but please leave the shells on. Sriracha & Chipotle Spicy Grilled Shrimp is a lick-your-fingers-while-you-peel-the-shrimp kind of dish. Cooking with the shells on not only helps retain moisture, but it adds depth of flavor. Timing will depend on the size of shrimp and strength of your fire, of course, so keep an eye on them. They cook quite quickly, 3 or so minutes per side.
Crack open a loaf of tangy sourdough and pour another glass of Pinot Gris and you are all set. Enjoy!
All ashore that’s going ashore. Or so it should have been. But Mother Nature was a fickle mistress (or was she?) and the pot-lucky aboard our intrepid pontoon Scout was not to be. It’s quite possible that Mother Nature did us a solid – the feast that arrived needed to be a moveable feast, else we would have had to have a side car on the boat just to carry the food. The call went out to bring an appetizer that fit a verrrrry loose nautical theme – #puremichigan, #redwhiteandblue, #beach, #getfishy. I really didn’t have much in mind, unlike previous pot-luckys (my curated and themed spin on a typical pot luck), other than my own plan to roll out the pickled shrimp, so asked friends to get creative and creative they got! The food just kept arriving and it took multiple rooms to spread the feast.
Scout goes out on Wednesdays all summer to watch races from the Grand River Sailing Club on the “big lake” (as any respectable west Michigander refers to Lake Michigan). The best racing weather is not the best Scout weather. Glassy nights don’t make for a great race. But fun, food, beverages, music and very deep conversations abound no matter the weather.
Sadly,3 foot waves and high winds precluded our “Scout”ing on the designated pot-lucky, so we headed inside and pulled out all the stops, tricking out the Captain’s Quarters to make it even more boat-like. Guests arrived with the most amusing and creative sacrifices to the pot-lucky gods. I loved that the theme came through in presentation, as well as ingredient selection. A self-proclaimed non-crafty guest fired up the printer and created picks for the best ever meatballs, adorning them with home-made burgees (flags) representing another local yacht club. And the most wonderful sausage/butter bean/poblano chili was served as if already the winning trophy. Or how about the goldfish, tossed in herbs and put in a fish bowl and served with a net? #Hilarious
Not just looking good, the ingredients were carefully selected around the theme, as well. Tomatoes are at their peak and they appeared on Caprese skewers, panzanella bread salad, baked with Parm and herbs in a savory crust, and atop lavosh for a yummy mozzarella bruschetta topping. Spicy pickled eggs, already red and white, picked up their blue from a wandering model boat captain. And dessert goes all red, white, and blueberry – with cherries & almonds, white peaches, blueberries & basil. Yum.
In the end, it turned out to be an app exchange of epic proportions, as there were far more treats than even the most intrepid sailor could consume. Everyone went home with sacks to nosh on throughout the week. Note to self: pot-luckys require to-go containers!
I represented with a pickled shrimp recipe that I first found from a neighbor who was a regular reader of Tasting Table. The recipe was adapted from Butcher & Bee in Charleston and Nashville. Here, it is adapted again. It’s a wonderful dish and a consummate hit and keeps for a week, if in fact you can manage to have leftovers. The original recipe didn’t work for scaling up to bigger quantities, but if you follow my seemingly fussy technique, you will get perfect results and can make as many pounds of shrimp as you want. The recipe below is for two pounds of shrimp. If you only make one pound, scale the remaining ingredients down by one third; for every pound you add over the two called for, scale the remaining ingredients up by 25% over those listed. ish. There is a lot of liquid and you definitely do not need to be linear in your math. Can you do that for me? If your poaching liquid does get too low, just add a little more water so that the shrimp are covered during their one-minute dip in the simmering brine.
Pickled Shrimp a la Butcher & Bee by way of me
4 cups water
2 ½ cups white vinegar
1 ½ cups cider vinegar
1 large onion, thinly sliced (I like Vidalia or other sweet onion)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
4 jalapenos, stemmed and cut into ½” thick rings
20 baby carrots, sliced in ¼” thick slices
4 lemons, thinly sliced
3 cups granulated sugar
1 ½ Tablespoons celery seed
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 Tablespoons sea or kosher salt
2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tail on (I like 16-20 or 21-26)
Fill the sink with cold water and ice.
In a large pot, combine all the ingredients, except for shrimp, and bring to a boil.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the chunkies (i.e. everything that is not liquid) to a large bowl, along with 2/3 of the liquid. Be sure to get most of the celery and mustard seeds. (The remaining liquid will eventually be discarded.) Place the bowl in the ice bath and stir periodically to cool. When the brine is cool, refrigerate.
Place the pot back on the stove with what remains of the pickling liquid (about 1/3 of original), and bring back to a low boil Add the first pound of shrimp and when pink, about 30 seconds to a minute, remove with tongs or slotted spoon to a tray and allow to cool. Repeat with remaining shrimp, one pound per batch. The shrimp color should be set and they should be mostly cooked, but they will continue to “cook”, or more accurately cure, as they sit in the brine. When the shrimp are cool, add to the refrigerated brine & vegetables. Cover and refrigerate at least four hours, or preferably overnight. Discard the brine that was used for poaching the shrimp.
To serve, strain off the liquid and serve in mason jars with the pickled vegetables.