Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Midweek food musings: Grilled Shrimp with Watercress and Sweet Corn Vinaigrette

Midweek food musings: Grilled Shrimp with Watercress and Sweet Corn Vinaigrette

This is a great summertime salad (yes…I know we’ve entered a new season, but I’m holding on!) Any visitor to Farmers’ Markets will notice the plethora of corn, and I confess that lately I’m also on a shrimp kick!  In this salad, the  slight bitterness of the salad greens offers the perfect backdrop for the flavors of the grilled shrimp and sweet corn vinaigrette; the fresh apple and avocado adds extra flavor and texture contrasts. You can prepare the vinaigrette a day before and then simply add the shrimp, apple, and avocado to the watercress bed. You can serve this salad on its own,  but it can also be served with grilled fish, meat, or chicken. (By the way--it's still grilling I do encourage you to pick up a copy of Latin Grill if you don't have one already!) 
From Latin Grill
Photograph by Dan Goldberg 

Grilled Shrimp with Watercress and Sweet Corn VinaigretteAdapted from Latin Grill© 2010 Rafael Palomino with Arlen Gargagliano
Photos by Dan Goldberg

Serves 6

3 ears corn, shucked and stemmed
1 1/8 cups vegetable oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
18 medium-size shrimp, peeled, cleaned, and deveined
1 pinch cumin
1 pinch paprika
1 shallot
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 large bunch watercress, or red leaf lettuce, tougher bottom stems removed
1/2 Haas avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 Honey Crisp (or Granny Smith) apple, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick segments

Light a fire in a charcoal or gas grill. Squirt just a splash of oil atop the ears of corn and rub to spread. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the corn on the grill and cook, rotating as needed, until lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Set the ears aside until they’re cool enough to handle, and then remove the kernels from the cob. Place the kernels into a bowl.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the shrimp with a pinch each of cumin and paprika. Add a splash of oil and toss to coat. Grill until pink, turning once and making sure not to overcook (or they’ll go from tender to rubbery!), between 6 and 8 minutes. Set aside.

In a blender, combine the corn kernels, shallot, 1 cup of vegetable oil, and 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar and process until blended (the vinaigrette should still have some texture).

Place the watercress in a large bowl. Top with the avocado and apple. Pour about 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette on top and gently toss. Transfer the watercress mixture to a platter for serving and top with the grilled shrimp. Serve immediately.

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