by Douglas Abrams
When I close my eyes and think of my happy place, I think of some warm, sandy beach with palm trees and a glowing sun. Although we live in New England and it’s the middle of winter, our happy places are never far away. By cooking easy, summertime dishes, we can always be on a sandy beach—even in the middle of winter.
What food do you associate with paradise? For me, it’s seafood. So, when I want to go on a mental vacation, I whip up my lime and shrimp salad.
Start by removing the intestinal tracts—a process called deveining—from a quarter pound of shrimp. Cut a small incision in the back of each shrimp, from tip to tail, and remove the brown, slimy tube from inside each shrimp. Then, remove the tail from each shrimp and cut the crustaceans into half-inch chunks.
Put the shrimp in a big bowl (there are lots of ingredients to come) and add a half cup of lime juice, or just enough to cover the shrimp. By submerging the shrimp in citrus juice, you are effectively cooking it—a process called ceviche.
After 15 minutes, or until the chunks are fully cooked, strain off all the lime juice. To the shrimp, add one mango, diced, one rib of celery, diced, one half cup of frozen corn (or fresh, if you’re a super student foodie), and one avocado, diced. Then, take one jalapeno, remove all the seeds and ribs, and dice into tiny pieces. Add about a quarter of the pepper to start, and add more if you like it spicy.
Add plenty of salt and pepper and add the juice of one more lime over the top. This salad is sour and sweet and just a little spicy.
For me, when I bite into the juicy shrimp and the fatty avocado, I can’t help but feel like I’m lying on a beach under a palm tree.