One of the most rewarding experiences for a chef, whether unknown or famous, is finding a new spin to put on an old favorite. Whether it’s cooking for the family or wowing guests at a party, be it your own or someone else’s, one of the sure-fire ways to make a great impression is by reinventing something classic and giving it your own flavor.
A hit year-round, from appetizers to mains, is something involving seafood. While some people beg off red meat for health reasons, pretty much everyone enjoys well-prepared seafood. The meat itself is always healthy, and choosing to buy from specific countries that do a great job, especially from the waters off of Alaska, ensures that the fish will be of a high quality and also delicious.
Here are a couple of exciting takes on Shrimp Louie, one of the most popular dishes you can make with shrimp. A new spin on Crab Louis Salad, or Crab Louie, the dish started out in San Francisco, being served at Solari’s restaurant back in the 1910s. A great appetizer and salad at home, there are a couple of fresh new takes on it.
The classic Shrimp Louie recipe goes something like this: get one head of iceberg lettuce, half a pound of shrimp, four eggs, a lemon, cherry tomatoes, a thinly sliced cucumber, two tablespoons of sweet pickle relish, a cup of mayonnaise, half a cup of hot chile sauce, and a tablespoon of sliced fresh parsley. Boil the eggs, then cool them, peel them, and chop them.
Next, divide the lettuce, shrimp, cucumbers, tomatoes, and eggs between four salad plates, and get started on the dressing, whisking together the relish, chili sauce, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Spoon the dressing over the salad, and garnish with the parsley and the lemon.
That’s your basic and most simple version of Shrimp Louie. However, it’s possible to add twist without breaking the bank, or getting out of hand with new ingredients. Make a more Mediterranean version by incorporating black olives and substituting the iceberg lettuce for some sort of field greens. Make a chipotle version where the chile pepper in the sauce is already smoked, giving it a more Cajun flavor.
To cut back on fat, substitute out some of that Mayonnaise, or go in the direction of a more simple Hollandaise sauce, and add more elements to the salad, including some sort of pan-fried croutons. The beauty of a dish like Shrimp Louie is that it’s easy to make it your own. Who knows? Perhaps your great invention will be the next big thing, just like that salad chef back in San Francisco in 1914.