February 20, 2014

Spicy Shrimp Caesar

I love me some spicy shrimp!

And on a caesar?! Yes, please!

This caesar recipe is derived from Peppe's Italian Restaurant in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania where they used to make it tableside, circa 1980's style. 
They would crush the garlic, anchovies and capers...squeeze in the lemon juice from a lemon carefully wrapped in a pretty mesh net....

Sadly, they no longer offer it on their menu.
They say they do, but they don't. 
They use premade dressing now.
Very sad, because I believe it may have been the best caesar ever. 

So, since we could no longer get this fabulous salad, I took matters into my own hands, and experimented for what seems like an eternity to finally perfect the art of the caesar. 

I hate to brag, but I think I got it.

It still isn't as good as their's used to be, but it ranks a close second.

Ah, the labors of love.

Now, my husband and I have it all the time topped with whatever protein strikes our fancy...or whatever is left in the refrigerator from the night prior: 
shrimp, chicken, steak...

Makes a meal sized salad for 2 or 4 pre-dinner snackers

For the Shrimp:
12 large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 tablespoons of good olive oil
1 tsp of crushed red pepper flake
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp of salt

Toss the shrimp with the olive oil and seasonings. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or up to an afternoon.

For the Caesar:
1 large head of romaine lettuce, cleaned, chopped and spun
1 cup of croutons made from homemade bread (bread cut into cubes, tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper and baked until crunchy)

1 clove of garlic
1/2 can of anchovies
1 tablespoon of capers

Mash the above ingredients into a paste

1 tsp of dried mustard
1 tsp of freshly ground pepper
the juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp or so of Worchestershire sauce
1/2 a cup of good quality, aged balsamic vinegar
2 cups of good quality olive oil
1 egg (optional)

2 large scoops of parm +/or romano cheese + more for the cheese lovers to sprinkle on as they eat

Put all ingredients into your Vitamix or similar blender except for the olive oil and the cheese. Blend the shit out of it until it is creamy and combined. Slowly add the olive oil in a drizzle, mixing as you incorporate it. Once all of the oil is incorporated, toss with the romaine and the croutons until coated. Add cheese and toss again.

Take the shrimp out of the refrigerator, along with the marinade, and toss in a hot pan until they are translucent. Put on top of the salad.

Serve with extra grated cheese


*Disclaimer: We still love you Peppe's, we are just those annoying customers who get hooked on a dish.
Trust us, our criticism is genuinely out of love.

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