Besides his being a card-carrying (literally. His card hangs framed on our wall.) citizen of the Chickasaw Nation through his paternal heritage, Hubby has roots in the Deep South. His maternal forebears evacuated Georgia after Sherman’s destructive march to the sea at the end of the Civil War. (Think all those carriages stampeding away from burning Atlanta in Gone with the Wind.)
So for this Southern gentleman, who’s 65-years young today, I borrowed from the pages of Southern Living magazine and prepared Pickled Okra and Shrimp Salad, which I served alongside Gouda Grits (mentioned in an earlier blog). Now if okra, shrimp, and grits don’t bespeak of the South, I don’t know what does. Pickled okra, by the way, will be something fun to make from our okra crop once it materializes in the garden; for now I used a jar from the condiment shelves at the grocery store.
The recipe combines red onion, sliced pickled okra, pimiento, and shrimp that has been boiled in a purchased, packaged boil. Tossed with a mixture of mayonnaise, lime juice, and lime zest, the salad is chilled for a few hours before serving. The recipe suggests accompanying this with sliced avocado, which I did as a presentation for the above photo before I dished up the warmed Gouda Grits as an accompaniment.
If I were making this dish over, I would have chosen a less spicy shrimp-and-crab boil for the shrimp. The package I inadvertently picked would have raised the hair on a dog (speaking of Southern sayings). Spicy, spicy—so you tended to get overwhelmed by the seasoning on the shrimp and lose the flavor of this unique salad mixture.
Southern Living touted this dish in its “What’s for Supper? Quick-Fix Meals” section. I agree with the tout: it was quick to prepare and most unusual. After Hubby paused from putting the fire out (spicy shrimp!) long enough to speak, he extolled the dish. I wanted to make sure this would be a birthday he’d not be forgetting for a long time; even with advancing age (just had to get my 65-rib in somewhere). I feel certain he’ll be remembering this one.
Pickled Okra and Shrimp Salad
1 (3-ounce) package boil-in-bag shrimp-and-crab boil
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined, medium-size raw shrimp (31/40 count)
1/2 cup sliced sweet-hot pickled okra
1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimiento, drained
1/3 cup lite mayonnaise
3 tablespoons minced red onion
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
3 large avocados, sliced
Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan; add crab boil and cook 5 minutes. Add shrimp; cover, remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes or just until shrimp turns pink. Drain and cool 10 minutes. Meanwhile combine pickled okra, diced pimiento, and next 6 ingredients. Add shrimp; chill and serve with avocado slices. Makes 6 servings.