When I read the ingredients for this battle, I could almost see the items stacking up on the plate along with others to enhance the flavors. Trying to find properly ripe fruit in the hinterlands of NW Ohio can get to be quite a task — especially in the dead of winter. It is difficult, at best, during the summer. When I asked for peaches, the stockclerk looked at me like I had just asked him a very deep and dark secret. Finally he said, “Check the canned fruits; we haven’t had fresh peaches for over a month.” He frowned then added, “Not since before Thanksgiving.” I was able to locate a hard avocado and a firm mango. Did you notice I didn’t say — ripe? Fortunately, when I got home, my wife had a mango in frig and a ripe avocado hidden in the bread pantry. Sometimes I just luck out. It was just a matter of putting it all together. How was it received? My tasters thoroughly enjoyed the tropical aspect since it is still white outside and cold. They loved it. My wife said she could eat this almost every day — healthy and very low calorie.
Tropical Seafood Salad
This is a very simple recipe. I made the orzo early in the morning, let it cool and then stuck it in the frig. I cheated by putting the shrimp in the boiling water and letting them cook a couple of mins, removing them and then adding the orzo to the boiling water. I also made a salsa which I put in the frig to let the flavor blend together. Then it was assembly to make it.
- 1 cup cooked orzo per person
- 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms per person (I used Baby Portobello but buttons work, too)
- crab meat (I used about a cup per person - we like crab)
- cooked shrimp (I used 3 big ones (16-20/lb) per person)
- sliced avocado (3 slices per salad)
- 1 cup diced green bell pepper. You could use colored peppers instead.
- 1/2 cup finely diced onion (about 1/2 of a small onion)
- 1 cup diced mango (1 nice sized mango should do)
- 1 1/2 cup diced peaches (I used 1 can sliced peaches, cut up bite-sized)
- 1 Tblsp lime juice
Mix the above together in bowl and sit in frig to chill for at least an hour.
I put 3 leaves of Romain lettuce on the plate for the base.
1 cup of cooked and cooled orzo in the center
3 to 4 tablespoons of salsa, more or less as you see fit
Sprinkle the mushrooms on
Crumble the crab meat over the top
Place 3 slices of avocado on top
Place 3 shrimp alternating w/ avocado
Since I used canned peaches, I had peach juice which I drizzled over the salad.
Note: For a little flair -- de-seed, de-vein a jalapeno, finely chop it and add to salsa
Some more notes: You could probably use long-grain rice in place of the orzo. Also, I got a very large green pepper and really only used the cut off bottom and top which I diced up into small pieces. The straight wall of the pepper I sliced into strips, placed in a freezer bag and stuck in the freezer for later use. When colored peppers are reasonably priced in my area, I grab them and do the same so I can pull out mixed colors to add a flair to several dishes.
Thinking back, I could have boiled my shrimp in a different pot of water with Old Bay Seasoning added to enhance and give the salad another layer of flavor. Next time.