There’s a delightful little restaurant near our apartment called Gravlax. It’s the love project of a husband and wife team who hail from Sweden and Turkey. The menu is small plates that are based on classics from their respective homelands… think smoked fish on one plate, hummus and dolma’s on another.
I love going there, the atmosphere is great, the wine and beer list is obtainably high end and the food is interesting and delicious.
Thing is, and you may not notice on your first run through, nothing on the menu is cooked (in a traditional sense). All the dishes, save for some toasted bread, are served cold. I never leave there hungry either. It got me thinking about ways I can prepare summer food that is bright and refreshing and served cold.
Enter the shrimp roll. I have to give thanks to an awesome blog I follow. Rachel’s interpretation of the shrimp roll got me thinking. Here’s my variation on her delicious idea.
Spicy Shrimp Rolls
Serves 4. Preparation, 20-30 minutes.
- 1 pound of shrimp (buy peeled and deveined, it saves time and isn’t much more expensive.)
- 1 shallot
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 stalks of celery
- 1/4 to 1/2 head of red cabbage
- 4-6 grape or cherry tomatoes
- 3-4 pinches of fresh dill
- dijon mustard
- Sriracha brand chili sauce
- 1 lemon or 2 limes
- 4 hot dog rolls (I used some really delicious pretzel rolls but any will do. The key is to get ones that aren’t too bready.*
Chop up your veggies first. The shrimp cook up quickly so you don’t want to be distracted. Get it all into little bite sized chunks.
Remove the tails from the shrimp and melt a little butter in frying pan on medium high. Chop up the shrimp and dice the shallot. Throw those two in the butter and let cook for a few minutes. Chop the garlic cloves and add them. Salt and pepper the mix.
All together with a few stirs this should take 5-6 minutes. The shrimp will be pink and no longer translucent when you’re finished.
Now add the shrimp to your bowl full of chopped veggies. Add a few touches of dill, two dollops of mayo, two healthy squirts of dijon and a nice squeeze of Sriracha too. Squeeze out the lemon (watch for seeds) and add salt and pepper. If you want extra heat give it a few dashes of cayenne pepper. Mix it all up good and taste it. Too thick? More lemon juice. Kind of bland? More salt. More heat? Get some. Get it right and pop it in the fridge.
Now it’s on to the roll. If your have your grill going, I’d say get outside and char them up a little. Not actively trying to lose weight today? Smear a wee spot of butter on them first. I ran mine through the toaster oven for a minute just to warm and soften. The pretzel roll was great, it really added a nice flavor and didn’t dominate the meal with bread. Rachel’s version called for brioche. Can’t go wrong with that either. I grew up idolizing lobster rolls on cheap hot dog rolls so I don’t have a problem with that option either. The contrast of high end flavors in the mix and low end baked rolls can actually add to it.
Scoop the shrimp into the roll. I garnished mine with a home made Minty Mango Salsa and served along side some baked sweet potato wedges.
Perfect summer meal. Enjoy.