Lemony Shrimp Pasta Salad

This is a good salad to serve as a side for a grilled dinner or to bring to a potluck.  It’s also great as an entree, with some fruit on the side. 

  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (150-200 count), cooked in shrimp boil or creole seasoning, drained and chilled

  • 1 pound cooked elbow macaroni, bowties, shells or rotini’s

  • 1 cup red  onion, diced

  • 1 cup green bell pepper, diced

  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced

  • 1 cup celery, diced

  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

  • 1.5 cups mayo

  • 1/4 c. sweet pickle relish

  • 1/4 cup ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons Creole mustard, or stoneground

  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste (optional)

  • zest of one lemon

  • juice of one lemon      

  • 1 T prepared horseradish (optional)

If possible, make this the day before so that all the flavors have time to marry.  The lemon flavor will become more pronounced over time.

Cook the shrimp:

image

     If starting with raw, deheaded and peeled shrimp, bring a small pot of water to a boil.  Add a few drops of shrimp or crab boil, or a tablespoon of creole seasoning to the water.  When the water gets to a rolling boil, drop the shrimp in, and turn the water off.  After about 8 minutes, the shrimp should have turned completely opaque, which indicates that they are cooked (but not overcooked since we turned the water off).  These are small shrimp, having a count of 150/200 per pound.  The higher the count, the smaller the shrimp are, because it takes more of them to make a pound.  After the shrimp are cooked, drain the water and transfer the shrimp to a small bowl, and refrigerate until needed.  Since these shrimp are so small (plus, they were IQF frozen), I didn’t devein them prior to cooking.  Instead, after they were cooked and cooled, I went through them and deveined only the ones that needed it. 

Cook the pasta:

    Cook the pasta according to package directions; undercook by  a minute or two.  Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process, and transfer to a large bowl, one that will accommodate all the ingredients.  While you are prepping the remaining ingredients, chill the pasta, too.

Make the dressing:

image

    In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, pickle relish, ketchup, lemon zest and juice, horseradish (optional) and the celery seed.  Mix well.  Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, and mix gently with a large spatula.  Keep cold until serving time.

 

image

I didn’t take a picture of the completed salad.  For all it’s color in this picture, it was a pretty white looking pasta salad. Next time, I won’t cut all the vegetables so small.  Tasted great, especially after sitting overnight.   The lemon zest provided a good, clean lemon flavor.  The only thing that would have added a little more would be a little bit of parsley.  Next time!

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