Cold Seafood Salad

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There are times when salad is good, and there are times when it is fan-freaking-tastic.  This salad is of the second sort, at least I think so; my husband, on the other hand, thinks calamari is “squishy” so he does not enjoy it.  In fact, he doesn’t like any kind of squishy food:  marshmallow or Fluff, its first cousin, commercial whipped cream, meringue, crawfish, you know, things that go squish, but delving into that topic any further requires another sort of professional…but I digress.

And it’s fairly simple to make.  No, its very simple to make.  Make your court bouillon, which means “short stock” and is pronounced “coor-boo/yoh~” (for an audio of the pronunciation: http://www.howdoyousaythatword.com/word/court-bouillon/) clean your seafood and construct your salad greens.  Voila!  More French words and better yet, a nice entree or side dish.

**See the usual disclaimer below.  Adapted from Foodnetwork.com/guy fieri chilled Italian seafood salad.

Seafood:
1 pound calamari tentacles and tubes, cleaned and cut into 1-inch rings, soaked in
2 cups buttermilk for at least 1 hour, refrigerated and covered

2 pounds shrimp, 21-25s, peeled & deveined (retain the shells for making seafood stock later)

2 lbs. littleneck clams, cleaned

Court Bouillon:
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium carrot, unpeeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, skin on, halved and quartered (cut off stem)
4 sprigs fresh parsley
4 sprigs fresh lemon thyme
2 bay leaves
1 dried red chile
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 pound U21/25 tail-on shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed, beards removed
1 1/2 cups halved and thinly sliced tomato
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Fennel-Arugula Salad:
8 ounces lightly packed Israeli arugula, washed and trimmed
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, fronds reserved and sliced thin
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 heriloom tomato, seeded and finely diced
2 scallions, sliced on the bias
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Venetian Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 scallions, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

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**Disclaimer:  I consider all recipes “advisory opinions”.  Some times the adivce is good and you learn the good; sometimes the adivce is bad and you learn from that too.  Until I grow a new fruit that this earth has never seen, theres a good chance that all of my recipes began somewhere else.  And even if it didn’t, I’m sure you can find one so similar that it will be hard to tell which is the chicken and which is the egg.  Nonetheless, I will always give credit to the first source I began working from, and I will always us the phrase “adapted from….[credit inserted here].  I generally make a recipe 3 or 4 times to tweak it to the way the I like it.  I expect you to do the same.  Food is sustinance, sustinance is necessary for life.  Enjoy yours the way you like, and I’ll supply a few ideas.

Summer Corn Salad – gf

As the days grow warmer, longer and sunnier, the excitement of summer consumes us. We change our wardrobes, our hair styles, and our habits. We ride a bike instead of driving, we exercise more, or we at least consider the possibility, school ends, vacation plans are realized and….our gardens grow. We plant, harvest, and enjoy, or we visit a farmers market. If no other options are open to us, we at least buy fresh vegetables from the market.

Being honest, I must admit it more work and more costly to buy fresh veggies, but aren’t we worth it? The corn is crisp and sweet, the cucumbers cool and firm. The fruit so fragrant I’m never sure whether I want to bite into it or dab it on my neck like a sweet Channel. (Okay, that might be a bit too far.)

Fresh is best.

So, the other night we had a deck picnic of spiced chicken with white bar-b-que sauce, baked potato skins and corn on the cob. A few ears of corn were left over, so the following day we had this Summer Corn Salad. This is my recipe, but really it can be considered an opinion and modified as you like to suit your meal and tastes. It is better if the flavors can melt for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator before serving, but if you don’t have the time, it is still tasty.

Summer Corn Salad
Summer Corn Salad

Ingredients:

3 Ears, cooked Corn on the Cob, kernels shaved from the cob (to cook, add the shucked cobs to boiling salted water about 7-8 minutes, or until you begin to smell the corn.)
1 can of black beans, drained and well-rinsed. Allow to drain.
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
4 scallions, sliced up to the dark green part of the stem
1/4 c. safflower oil
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
3 Tbstp. fresh chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp. champagne vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper (dustless)

**Optional: Chopped jalepeno to add heat.

1. Chop and mix together the vegetables and beans.
2. In a measuring cup, whisk together the oil, red wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, sugar, oregano salt and pepper.
Taste the dressing. At this point you may want to make adjustments. Our family enjoys the bite of vinegar, but if you prefer a milder dressing, add a bit of water and/or sugar until you find a flavor you enjoy. Remember, the vegetables will reduce the height of the flavor by imparting their own.

Mix the dressing into the vegetables and beans. Once fully coated, mix in the chopped cilantro and chill for at least 2 hours.