I have been craving some serious American food as of late. A week ago I had the overwhelming urge to make meatloaf. Then it was chili. Then it was deviled eggs. This past weekend I was dying for pulled pork + coleslaw + eastern north carolina bbq sauce. Today the craving was shrimp louis salad with thousand island dressing…
Reality check, reality check… no, this isn’t the 1960′s… I actually *like* Louis salads — shrimp, crab, lobster — let me have it!
In german grocery stores there is something that *vaguely* resembles thousand island dressing called (embarrassingly) “American” dressing. It has the same pale orange color, but the similarities end there. When I think of Thousand Island dressing, I think of something tasty but with mixed connotations — perhaps bourgeois, perhaps unsophisticated, but still rich and well flavored. It should be thick and creamy, a little pickle-y, a bit tomato-y, rich but not overly so, a little spicy, even a little sour… This “American” dressing in the grocery store just wouldn’t cut it, so I decided to make my own, which was a good decision indeed.
Made with ingredients that are typically on-hand, this is a great dinner for a night when you don’t really feel like cooking. It helps if you have some hard boiled eggs ready and some already cooked bacon, but by nature, this is am improvised salad. If you don’t have any bacon on hand and don’t feel like cooking it, then don’t bother. It’s still good (though of course, everything is better with bacon:) ) Same with the eggs, and with any of the toppings. Make due with what you have — I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
Shrimp Louis with Homemade Thousand Island
Thousand Island Dressing:
1 1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. chili sauce (something with some sweetness and not *too* spicy)
1/4 c. roasted red pepper, finely chopped
1 large hard-boiled egg, finely chopped
3 T. cornichons (or regular dill pickles), finely chopped
2 T. smooth dijon mustard
2 T. capers, finely chopped
2 T. green onions, finely chopped
salt and pepper
20-40 dashes hot pepper sauce (Tabasco, etc. to taste)
8 large leaves romaine lettuce, cut into ribbons, approximately 6 c. total
2-3 T. cilantro, chopped
2/3 lb. cooked, shelled shrimp (about 15-20)
4 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 a small persian cucumber, cut into bite sized pieces
10 pimento stuffed green olives
1 hard boiled egg, cut into wedges
6 slices cooked bacon
Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl. Season to taste.
In a large bowl combine the lettuce and cilantro. Add 4-6 T. of dressing, and toss until well coated. Add more dressing if the salad looks dry.
Divide lettuce mixture on two plates. Artfully arrange shrimp, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and egg on top of salad. Top with bacon slices. Serve with a small amount of dressing on the side, if desired. Enjoy!
**Note: There will be leftover dressing