We’re doing cold meal salads today, Kids, one vegetarian and one seafood. The seafood salad features a homemade lemon-garlic mayonnaise dressing that is so good that you may, if you wish, use that artificial seafood product called Surimi (Chinese: 魚漿; pinyin: yú jiāng; literally “fish puree/slurry”, Japanese: 擂り身, which translates to “ground meat”). It’s used often as a substitute for crabmeat or lobster meat in casseroles by some low-end hash houses, but it actually makes a pretty good seafood salad, so long as it is identified as what it is–Surimi, usually made from cod or pollock. Anyway, the dressing is so good here that you can proudly serve this dish with any boiled seafood. Try monkfish, too. It’s pretty good. To make the dressing (and to make all subsequent dressings addressed here, if you can, invest in a small mini-food processor (like the Cuisinarts Mini-chopper) or a hand-held immersion blender–you place the immersion blade in the bowl and push the button. It works like a food processor. A hand mixer is not good enough to make good salad dressings. You need the high-speed blade to properly incorporate the oil into the dressing. Either one of these tools is fine, you don’t need both, but if you like to cook, an investment in one or the other of these is well worth the money.
1 tsp grated lemon peel
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil (you know how I feel about olive oil)
1 Tbsp. sour cream
2 1/2 cups uncooked rotelle pasta
1 lb. medium shrimp or other lightly boiled firm seafood (not a flaky fish)
1 cup snow pea pods or sugar-snap peas, blanched, cut in half
1/2 cup scallions (green onions)
1 can ripe green olives
1 1/2 cups garlic croutons
1/2 cup greshly grated Parmesan cheese
6 cups torn green-leaf lettuce
First, make the mayonnaise. Add all ingredients EXCEPT HALF THE OLIVE OIL to a small mini-food processor-chopper. Pulse quickly three or four times. SLOWLY drizzle the remaining olive oil into the dressing and continue to mix for about thirty seconds after all the remaining oil has been incorporated. Set the dressing aside.
Cook pasta and rinse in cold water. In a large bowl, combine pasta, seafood, peas, onions, and olives. Toss gently; add salad dressing, toss gently to coat, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, stir occasionally. Add croutons and cheese, toss gently. Place 3/4 cup lettuce on a plate and top with a generous portion of pasta salad.