Shrimp Salad


From The Savannah Cookbook by Damon Lee Fowler

In a place where the weather is warm and fresh-caught shrimp are plentiful seven months out of the year, shrimp salad is, of course, a standard in any cook’s repertory. The Savannah recipes are legion, but one of the mot common is made pretty much like St. John’s crab salad. This is my own way of making it. It’s terrific on sandwiches or, when the shrimp are left whole, as a first course for a formal meal or, stuffed into hollowed-out vine-ripe tomatoes, as a luncheon main course.

2 pounds (headless weight) poached shrimp, preferably small
1/2 cup diced heart of celery
1/2 cup of Herb Mayonnaise (see below)
Salt and ground cayenne pepper

1. Peel the shrimp, and if they’re large, cut them into 2 or 3 pieces, but leave small ones whole. Toss them in a bowl with the celery.

2. Fold in enough mayonnaise to lightly coat them (you may not need all of it). Taste, and season with salt and a dash or so of cayenne. Toss well, taste, adjust the salt and cayenne, and chill well before serving.

Severs 4 to 6.

For Herb Mayonnaise:

1 whole large egg
1 teaspoon dry mustard or 1 tablespoon Dijon-type mustard
Salt and cayenne pepper
1 cup olive, peanut, or other vegetable oil, or 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and 3/4 cup peanut or vegable oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or wine vinegar
1 small clove garlic, crushed and peeled
1 rounded tablespoon minced green onion
1 rounded tablespoon roughly chopped basil or mint
1 rounded tablespoon rosemary

1. Do not use dried herbs. Put the egg in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the mustard, a healthy pinch of salt, a tiny one of cayenne, the garlic, the green onion, the basil or mint, the rosemary, and the lemon juice or vinegar. Process until smooth, about 1 minute.

2. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream, which will take between 1 and 2 minutes. When the oil is incorporated, let the machine run for a few seconds more, then stop it, taste, adjust the seasonings, and pulse it a couple of times to mix them in. Keep it, well covered, in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it.

Makes 1 1/2 cups.