Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spinach Salad with warm Bacon and Mushroom dressing and Crispy Shrimp

I try to make a good, entree style salad at least once a week.  It is easy this time of year when the produce is fresh, it is so different than when it is 40 below and all our produce seems a little sad and slightly frost-bit.  Dave really only likes red meat so I try to get extra greens on the table to help counteract all the cholesterol.  I served this with a crusty french loaf.  It was a fresh light dinner for Spring.

 Crispy Shrimp
from Cooking Light March 2012
makes 4 servings, but for us, dinner and some left-overs for Dave's lunch
  • 3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 
 Preparation  Combine 1/4 cup panko, parsley, thyme, and crushed red pepper in a mini food processor; pulse to combine. Combine herb mixture with remaining 1/2 cup panko in a shallow dish. Place cornstarch and egg whites in separate shallow dishes. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and black pepper. Dredge half of shrimp in cornstarch, shaking off excess; dip into egg whites. Dredge shrimp in panko mixture; press to adhere. Repeat procedure with remaining shrimp.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add half of shrimp to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat with remaining oil and shrimp.  Cover to keep warm while you make the dressing.

If you want to save more oil, preheat the oven to 425ºF, warm a cookie sheet in the oven, prep your shrimp, spray the pan with cooking oil, lay shrimp on pan in a single layer, spray shrimp with cooking spray. Bake 12-15 minutes until shrimp is cooked through.

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon and Mushroom Dressing
Makes 2 salads
4 cups fresh spinach
4 strips bacon, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. water
2 Tbsp. olive oil, if needed
salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon until crispy, remove to paper towel lined plate.  Discard all but 2 Tbsp. bacon fat.  Add mushrooms to bacon fat and cook 3-5 minutes until tender.  Add 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup water, cook until liquid is reduced by half.  Add up to 2 Tbsp. olive oil if needed, taste and add salt and pepper if needed.  Plate 2 cups of spinach on each plate, divide dressing between two plates, top with shrimp, serve immediately.

May 8, 2012     Daylight  17 hours, 56 minutes, 46 seconds     Current Temp. 42ºF

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