My mother’s method of making this salad was to chop all the ingredients very small and every tiny piece was the exact same size. I prefer a chunkier salad, but I’m beginning to wonder if that’s only because I don’t have my mother’s patience. From her perfectly knitted homemade socks to the faultless stitches in her quilts, she was meticulous. Heck, even the way she ate her corn! One row at a time, back and forth like a typewriter, never missing a kernel.
My mother’s generation of home-cooks had none of our ‘shop local, organic and sustainable’ in their cooking! Nor did they concern themselves about processed foods. In Ma’s salad, she used tiny canned shrimp. I doubt she bought a fresh one in her life and, needless to say, my version is not just chopped coarser but uses all fresh and local ingredients. But, to us kids, mom’s Shrimp Salad was a real treat.
And now the shocker! It was usually followed by Beef Rice-A-Roni! Yep! You heard it on Poseidon Cooks! A 100% processed, packaged store-bought meal – which the whole family loved! I need to make it again and see if it tastes the way I remember it… or maybe not.
What you need:
½ pound cooked shrimp, cut into ½-inch pieces (Of course you can buy pre-cooked shrimp, but why? It only takes a couple of minutes to prepare fresh shrimp and it is so worth it. I cook my shrimp in a pot of boiling water seasoned with ½ teaspoon celery salt, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ lemon. Boil until the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through , about a minute. Immediately plunge them into ice cold water to stop the cooking. Drain on paper towels and chill.)
1 large stalk celery, sliced about ½-inch thick
3 jumbo hard boiled eggs, coarsely chopped (I cook my eggs by putting them in a saucepan filled with cold water. Bring them to a boil, remove them from the heat, cover and let them sit for 8 minutes. Put the eggs into a bowl of ice filled with water. This does two things – stops the cooking and also prevents the yolk from forming that ugly green ring.)
1/3 cup mayonnaise, or enough to coat all of the ingredients to your taste
Salt & pepper
Lettuce and tomatoes for serving, optional
Rice-a-Roni, absolutely optional!!
What you do:
Simply combine the chopped shrimp, celery and eggs into a mixing bowl. Stir in the mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves and garnish with tomatoes. The salad also makes a great sandwich filling.