Ey yo! Welcome back. First things first:
So now that I've properly explained why I've been a bit MIA, I have a recipe for you!
I made this Charred Romaine & Shrimp Salad yesterday for my Sunday evening dinner because up here in New York for the summer, Sunday ALWAYS mean grilling--and lucky for me the person I'm currently tongue kissing is also a BOMB grillmaster, so I'm making good use of his talents.
I guess you could do this all on the stove in a hot cast iron skillet if you don't have a grill, but by all means give it a shot outside if you can. Nothing says summer like throwing EVERYTHING YOU OWN onto the grill, basically.
If you haven't already been charring your Romaine lettuce now's the time to give it a try (I am sorry, I know I sound like a pretentious food snob when I say that but OMFG you must must try it), but what really adds depth to this summery salad is cutting that richness with a few leaves of the fresh raw stuff to give it some crunch.
Feel free to omit the tomatoes if you want; I just think it's sacrilege to not include them in a summer salad for all their juiciness and gorgeous colour when they're in season. Oh, and the extra brilliant part of this salad is that you don't even need up whip up a separate dressing: the olive oil and lemon juice takes care of that in beautiful simplicity.
Here we go punks!
CHARRED ROMAINE & SHRIMP SALAD
WHAT YOU NEED
3 whole small-to-medium sized Romaine hearts
24 small-to-medium sized cleaned raw shrimp, tails left on, threaded onto wooden skewers (I was able to find these at my supermarket already assembled for only $2 a skewer)
2 ears of corn, shucked and wiped of silk
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 large tomato, diced (optional, I GUESS)
6 slices bacon, more if you are a needlessly indulgent sod
2 fresh lemons
Olive oil for brushing
Salt & pepper to taste
WHAT YOU DO
1. Preheat your grill to medium heat. Lightly oil the ears of corn and season with salt and pepper. Toss those two on the grill over the area of highest/most direct heat to get a good char on them. Now's the time to add your bacon strips directly onto the grill as well, to cook to your desired level of crispiness.
2. While that shit gets going gently brush your shrimp with olive oil on each side so they don't stick to the grill, and then squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over them and season with S & P. Grill for about 2 minutes a side or until light pink and cooked throughout.
3. While your shrimp are grilling, slice 2 of the 3 Romaine hearts in half lengthwise straight down the middle, making sure to keep the end bulb intact. Trim off any browned edges and gently dust off any visible dirt or grit. Brush the cut sides with olive oil and season with S & P. These we'll grill. If the tiny inner leaves are having trouble staying put use a toothpick to stab it all together, because when all else fails be violent in the kitchen. Wash and chop about 6 leaves of the third head--this will be your raw component.
4. Once your shrimp are removed from the grill, crank it up to high heat and add the Romaine lettuce heads cut side down. Grill over high heat for about 2-3 minutes or until you've got a nice char and the leaves have slightly wilted. Remove from heat.
4. Roughly chop the charred Romaine and toss with the raw chopped leaves, avocado, tomatoes, whole shrimp, diced bacon, and roasted corn kernels you've sheared from the cob. Squeeze the juice of the other lemon over the whole thing and call it a day--the olive oil you've used to grill half the ingredients will mingle with the lemon juice to create a simple dressing that lets the other seasonal ingredients shine. Buon appetito!