Give me a cookbook, and I will be a happy camper for quite a long time. I am definitely a book lover. I love holding books in my hands and flipping through the pages, and if it is a cookbook, I want to make all the recipes I see, right away. I am like a little kid in a candy store, only instead of seeing visions of lollipops swirling through me head, I see visions of all kinds of different delicious foods before me. Maybe that’s why sometimes I tend to make a lot of similar foods in a short time frame. Lately, I have been on an Argentine food theme. I have enjoyed this latest culinary journey down to Argentina just as much as I enjoy all my other culinary journeys to all other far off places around the world.
When we have our mermaid/merman potlucks, I almost always try to bring something healthy, since after all, we are in a fitness and exercise class and we are all trying our best to get healthier and lose some of those extra pounds that somehow seem to accumulate around our middle sections. This time, I chose to make the hearts of palm and shrimp salad. It’s healthy, quick and easy to make, and with the shrimp, it was a perfect fit for our mermaid/merman party. The Mermaid/Merman Gathering
The ensalada de palmitos y camerones or hearts of palm and shrimp salad is a dish that became famous and popular in the mid 1920’s at a golf resort in Mar del Plata, off the Atlantic coast of Buenos Aires. Mar del Plata is one of Argentina’s busiest fishing ports and every year, at the end of January (the middle of the Argentine summer) Mar del Plata hosts The Festival of Fishermen, where large quantities of delicious seafood dishes are served every year, in appreciation of all the gifts from the sea. This is one of the popular dishes served at this annual event.
Hearts of Palm and Shrimp Salad
1 lb medium sized shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked
1-2 firm, avocados, sliced
1 can hearts of palm, drained and sliced
1 head of red leaf lettuce
2 TBSP fresh chives
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
4 TBSP lemon juice
red pepper flakes to taste
1-2 TBSP olive oil
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 TBSP ketchup
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp brandy
dash of Tobasco sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 TBSP capers
Cook the shrimp in half of the lemon juice, olive oil and red pepper flakes for about 5-7 minutes or until they are done and are pink all around. Then remove them from the heat and set aside.
Place the lettuce leaves on a platter and arrange the red pepper slices, avocado slices, hearts of palm and shrimp around the lettuce leaves. Squeeze the rest of the lemon juice over the ingredients, making sure to really cover the avocado slices to prevent browning. You can use lemon juice from a bottle or lemon juice from a lemon. I used both because I also used the cut lemon as my decoration and garnish too.
Mix together all the wet ingredients to make your sauce, then drizzle the sauce over the salad.
Once the salad is made, sprinkle the chopped chives and capers all around. I also used more red pepper strips to enhance my presentation. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. !Desfruitas!