Friday, June 9, 2017

Pineapple Shrimp Salad

     Welcome to Fantasy Island!
     Carved pineapple bowl salad presentations are popular at restaurants in the Caribbean Islands, Florida, Mexico and tropical resorts worldwide.  A refreshing Pineapple Shrimp Salad served in a pineapple bowl appeals to tourists and locals alike! 
     Popcorn Shrimp actually are convenient for making mayonnaise salads, but these tiny shrimp practically have no flavor at all or they simply taste like brine.  For a better tasting mayonnaise salad, full size shrimp are the best choice.  Large 16/20 count per pound shrimp increase the eye appeal too.
     When pineapple is added to a mayonnaise salad, the seeping pineapple juice will eventually cause the mayonnaise to become thin and watery if the salad is made too far in advance.  Today's Pineapple Shrimp Salad is best if it is served within one hour after it is made.  The same can be said about the pineapple shell.  If the pineapple shells are stuffed too far ahead of time, the seeping pineapple juice will turn the mayonnaise into a watery mess, so for a large dinner party, the pineapple bowls can be carved well ahead of time, but they should be stuffed shortly before serving.  

     Poached Szechuan Pepper Shrimp:
     This recipe yields 8 ounces.  (Enough for 1 stuffed pineapple.)
     Step 1:  Heat 1 quart of water in a sauce pot over high heat.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt.
     Add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1 tablespoon of whole Szechuan Peppercorns.
     Bring the water to a boil.
     Step 2:  Add 1/2 pound of peeled and deveined large shrimp.  (Remove the tails.)
     Poach till the shrimp are fully cooked.  (About 3 to 4 minutes)
     Step 3:  Cool the shrimp under cold running water.  (Add ice to cool the shrimp quicker.)
     Drain the water off of the shrimp and discard the Szechuan Peppercorns.
     Chill the Szechuan Pepper Poached Shrimp in a refrigerator to 41ºF.
     Pineapple Bowl: 
     This recipe yields 1 Pineapple Bowl and about 1 1/2 cups of pineapple fruit pieces.  
     Step 1:  Split 1 whole pineapple in half lengthwise and keep the leaves attached.
     Use kitchen shears to trim the sharp points off of the leaves.
     Step 2:  Cut a small flat spot on the pineapple rind, so the pineapple bowl will be stable on a plate.
     Step 3:  Place the half of a pineapple on a cutting board with rind facing down.
     Use a paring knife to cut a hollow bowl shape.  The pineapple bowl should be 1/4" to 3/8" thick.
     Use a spatula or spoon to pry and pop the pineapple fruit out of the pineapple bowl.
     Use a melon ball scoop to smooth the surface inside the pineapple bowl.
     Chill the finished pineapple bowl till it is needed.  
     Step 4:  Place the pineapple fruit that was removed from the pineapple shell on a cutting board.
     Cut off the fibrous pineapple core and discard it.
     Cut the pineapple fruit into bite size pieces.
     Place the pineapple fruit pieces in a container and chill in a refrigerator to 41ºF.
     *About 1 1/4 cups of pineapple pieces will be needed for the salad.

     Pineapple Shrimp Salad:
     This recipe yields 1 large portion.  (Enough to stuff 1 pineapple bowl.)
     Step 1:  Place 1 1/4 cups of the chilled pineapple fruit pieces in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 pound of chilled Szechuan Pepper Poached Shrimp.
     Step 2:  Add 2 tablespoons of thin sliced celery.
     Add 2 tablespoons of small chopped red bell pepper.
     Add 1 tablespoon of small chopped Bermuda Onion. 
     Add 1 tablespoon of toasted shelled sunflower seeds.
     Step 3:  Add just enough mayonnaise to lightly coat the ingredients.  (About 3 or 4 tablespoons.)
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 4:  Add 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro.
     Add 1 small pinch of ground celery seed.
     Add 1 small pinch of allspice.
     Add 1 small pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Toss the ingredients together a second time.
     Chill the Pineapple Shrimp Salad for 20 minutes, so the flavors meld.
     Pineapple Bowl Presentation:
     This recipe yields 1 large stuffed pineapple salad.
     Step 1:  Mound as much of the Pineapple Shrimp Salad in the carved pineapple bowl as possible.
     Set the stuffed pineapple on a plate.
     Step 2:  Garnish the pineapple with cilantro sprigs.
     Garnish the plate with bias sliced green onion.

     Cool, refreshing and delicious!  Tropical style stuffed pineapple salads have a way of making guests smile! 

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