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The Art of the Salad: Southwest Shrimp Stir-Fry Salad

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So, what is a salad? As opposed to what many believe, it is not a mound of greens slathered in an industrial gunk called a "dressing." It is not a plate of raw vegetables. It is not an umimaginative conglomeration of produce meant for only dieters. A salad is a perfect marriage of taste and texture which when properly created and structured, can be the highlight of any dining experience.

What we have here is a fusion of Asian and Southwest cuisines wrapped up in a healthy and delicious salad. You can use any variety of shrimp for this salad but it is recommended to use a medium variety, such as tiger shrimp.

The reason the shrimp are cooked with their shell still on is two-fold. First, the shell protects the shrimp meat from the intense heat. Secondly, the sauce will enter the shell, thus giving the shrimp the ultimate in flavor.

Ingredients needed to make Southwest Shrimp Stir-Fry Salad (serves 2):

  • 1 pound shrimp, in shells
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. Asian chili oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 1 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs. hoisin sauce
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded and julienned (cut into thin strips)
  • fresh basil leaves
  • salad greens

Steps:

  1. Rinse the shrimp under cold running water and set aside.
  2. Into a large saute pan or wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the shrimp and saute 5 minutes.
  3. Into a small bowl, whisk together the chili oil, garlic, 5-spice powder, sesame oil and hoisin sauce.
  4. Add the jalapeno peppers to the pan and stir-fry 1 minutes.
  5. Add the sauce and cook 3 minutes.
  6. Place the shrimp over the salad greens and drizzle with some of the sauce.
  7. Top with fresh basil leaves and serve.

The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."

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