Sunday, October 6, 2019

Combination Chopped Salad with Shrimp

A combination Italian style salad made of romaine lettuce, shrimp, boiled egg, fresh tomatoes, olives, loads of veggies and dressed with a spicy tomato and garlic dressing.
A combination Italian style salad made of romaine lettuce, shrimp, boiled egg, fresh tomatoes, olives, loads of veggies and dressed with a spicy tomato and garlic dressing.

Combination Chopped Salad with Shrimp

Yessireebob... that there is what you call a main dish salad! I know it's supposed to be fall but it's still pretty hot here in the Deep South, so I haven't moved away from summertime eating quite yet, and what a beautiful salad for one of the last salutes to summer!

This is a salad, that at least back in the day, was well known in the New Orleans and coastal Mississippi areas, when it had a rather colorful, totally inappropriate and not very politically correct name, which if you're from around here you know exactly what I am talking about. I'll just leave it at that. It's what the Friendship House referred to as a combination salad, with lettuce, tomatoes, olives,  shrimp, boiled eggs, loads of veggies and a garlicky tomato based dressing.
"Heave Ho the anchor now and call out the captain and the crew. We're off to eat at the Friendship House where the flounder is so fresh and shrimp are too. Where the steaks are great and the chicken is the same and the lobster and the crab have their very own name. We're off to eat at the Friendship House. Friendship (piper toot) is their middle name."

From my recollection, the Friendship House went through a few hurricanes, a few owners, a few rebuilds and quite a few menu changes over the years. The Meyers who owned it for a time period, sold the building to the Brennan family of New Orleans,

The original recipe, publicly shared by the Meyers family, was a rather large batch, calling for a pint of salad oil for the garlic dressing alone, and another 5 cups of oil for the main dressing itself!

Rather than what you would assume might be an Italian dressing, the dressing itself is more of a French style dressing. It was drizzled over rinsed and dried salad greens and a mixture of vegetables first, followed by another drizzle of overnight, heavily garlic infused salad oil. Each salad was then plated and individually topped with chopped egg, shrimp, two olives and one anchovy. I've taken the liberty of using my own Spicy Tomato Dressing, which is also a French style dressing instead, as well as adapting the recipe down to family sized.

This is the salad dressing container pictured in the top photo.

It's actually pretty neat, not only because it's got a screw on lid, unlike most cruets, making it easy to shake up, but also because it's got built in recipes right on the bottle, including classics like Caesar, French, Italian, Greek, Honey Mustard, Asian plus Vinaigrette and Balsamic Vinaigrette. Pretty cool actually.

I have also eaten this salad with a pomegranate dressing, classic french dressing and ranch dressing as well as a basic Italian vinaigrette - all good - so you could also just dress it with your favorite, though I highly recommend the spicy tomato. It's a perfect compliment for the shrimp!

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Recipe: Combination Chopped Salad with Shrimp

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: Not applicable

Total time: 20 min
Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

For the Spicy Tomato Dressing:
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup V-8 (regular or spicy)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili sauce or ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Creole (or yellow) mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, (like Slap Ya Mama, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
For the Salad:
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup julienned red, yellow, orange and/or green bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup julienned carrots
  • 1/2 cup sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumbers
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, cut in wedges
  • 1 pound boiled, seasoned medium (41 – 50 count) shrimp
  • 1/2 cup sliced black or green pitted olives
  • 6 pickled pepperoncini peppers, for garnish
  • 2 anchovy fillets, optional, for garnish
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional, for garnish

Add minced garlic to a mixing bowl with a pinch of the salt and smash together. Add the lemon juice and remaining salt; let rest for 10 minutes. Add remaining dressing ingredients and whisk until blended well. Transfer to a serving cruet and refrigerate until needed.

When ready to serve salad, tear lettuce into bite sized pieces, rinse and spin to remove all excess water. Add to large salad serving bowl, along with the next six ingredients. Drizzle enough dressing on top to moisten, toss, and top with all remaining salad ingredients, in order, finishing with the garnishes. Serve immediately, offering remaining dressing at the table.

Cook's Notes:
The Friendship House dressed their salad first with a French style dressing, followed by a garlic infused salad oil, then finishing individual plates with the chopped egg, shrimp, two olives and one anchovy. If you're using raw shrimp, season with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning and saute in butter until no longer translucent. Let cool. May also substitute crawfish, cut up cooked chicken, salami or ham for the shrimp. New Orleans style adds blanched asparagus spears. Fresh, sliced avocado is also a perfect addition.


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Posted by on October 6, 2019

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