Monday, July 17, 2017

Grilled Shrimp and Melon Salad with a Smoky Sweet Vinaigrette and #SchramsbergRose

"This special grilled shrimp and melon summer salad with is easily made. Feel free to substitute fruits and spices and make this your own. This smoky and sweet vinaigrette with a hint of spice will become a quick favorite!"


I hesitate to say that not much has happened since my sudden departure which kept me busy at home. I wish I could tell you that I've travelled around the world, eaten at Michelin starred restaurants, acquired a great tan on my best friend's yacht, but alas I've just been painting and cooking and staining floors. However that would not be quite true since  I  also enjoyed time with Alex Odie San China Boy who appeared for a very quick week.


His grandparents escaped Phoenix's summer heat  so they also could k'vell in his presence for a very brief shining moment. Of course this was all supposed to happen while still writing this blog but I'm afraid that Manservant's office -being prime real estate in our home, took gads more time than I expected it too. I am supposing that is always the case with home projects, especially when one does not quite know what they are doing.

Manservant's office is the magic spot where water chooses to often rear its ugly head so concrete seemed the perfect solution.The results speak for themselves. The floors are amazing and I wish I could lay concrete through the entire house and stain them all. No grout lines make this floor treatment incredible and you'd swear that high end stone was laid.  Since concrete was already there it was just a matter of cleaning and sanding and then 8 steps of stain, cleaner and sealer. Just.




And then painting involved painting twice because who knew that it's hard to match dark custom colors when one doesn't have enough paint.? Well not me for one.

So now that everyone has abandoned me, with Manservant going briefly to Mexico City for a meeting, it is up to me to try to sort though his 17 years of dusty files and crap. I'm not feeling very motivated except that it needs to happen to start basement project #2. Can't believe I'm considering this, but I am. And I will. BUT...most likely not until fall.

Enjoying Alex Odie means enjoying wine and we did. Drink a lot of wine, that is. He decided that with my parents arriving we should drink some of the more than drinkable, many past their prime wines, that my parents had collected over the years. They gifted us about 7 cases three years ago when they came to the conclusion that they would never be able to down all the bottles they owned in their lifetime. We became the proud owners  of  lots of old French burgundies and Bordeaux's and many other BIG reds. But thinking we needed BIG occasions to drink them we still have a lot of them left to drink. Well Alex Odie helped us with this. Being a level one sommelier and wishing he could take level two, he started opening bottles. If one wasn't just right we opened another. And another. "Don't be afraid to throw  out", he boldly advised. He even found a bottle given to my dad from my brother, that somehow ended up in our house.

                           

We opened it. Alas it was past its prime which was his point. Keep track so you don't lose out. There are many great wine applications on the web.


While documenting what we had, he came across a bottle of Schramsberg that he had sent me for Mother's Day a few years ago. He kind of went ballistic when he saw that it hadn't been drunk. "If I send you something it needs to be drunk when I tell you or I won't send you anymore!" Manservant quickly pointed out we are storing his wine collection for his return from China and we deserve a second chance. It's not that this was an expensive bottle but somehow with champagne I always think one must save it for a really special occasion. After finding the bottle from my brother for my dad, I decided he was more than right. If someone gifts you wine that is a special enough occasion. From now on, dear son, we will drink what ever you send us, whenever you tell us. And actually what better moment could there be than Mother's Day? The most momentous event of my life? Of course it has taken me a few years to reach that conclusion.

Now don't go thinking this is an ad for Schramsberg. It is not-though if they ever wanted to gift me a bottle or two I would not turn it down. I decided in honor of this occasion of acknowledging that we must start drinking our wine, we best start with this worthy bottle. It was a busy Saturday as work still continues on the folly (though it is 90% finished) but we made time to pop the cork and earn our second chance. Delicious and perfect with this salad, we'd drink it all over again. Manservant even wished me happy mother's day and you can bet it was. Just like every day when I think about my two gorgeous childbeings and am grateful for their existence. Certainly every day deserves a celebration of  motherhood, don't you think? Dear Alex Odie San China Boy-could you please send more? And better yet-could you deliver it in person?



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I spotted the perfect salad to serve with my Schramsberg Rose on my friend Shannon's blog. Wanting a light dinner and not wanting to spend too much time in the kitchen, I decided this was a perfect match. It is also a perfect example of showing you how recipes evolve. After running to Trader Joe's and thinking I came home with everything I needed and then discovering I didn't, this grilled cantaloupe salad quickly became a grilled shrimp and blueberry, cantaloupe and fig salad with a smoky sweet vinaigrette. Not having hot paprika I subbed in smoky. But not wanting this too smoky and not even having regular paprika, I added in some crushed Aleppo peppers for heat. It worked. Great and simple dressing! I then couldn't find grapes at TJ's, so I added figs. The figs were a perfect substitute but I wanted blueberries too. The combo of sweet, smoky and spicy was great! I threw in some spicy sweet glazed pecans also and called it a day. Check out the original recipe at Shannon's site and you can see the changes I made. Either salad is phenomenal but this is what happens when I cook. A few changes here and there make it yours, but it's always the inspiration that guides me. It's a perfect example of HOW I COOK.

A Few More Great Summer Salads:
Grilled Halloumi, Peach Salad  Kale and Cherries, Almonds and Feta  Blueberry Chicken Pesto Salad

                      

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Yield: 2 Servings

Grilled Shrimp and Melon Salad with Smoky Sweet Vinaigrette

prep time: 20 MINScook time: 5 MINStotal time: 25 mins
This special summer salad with grilled melon and shrimp is easily made. Feel free to substitute fruits and spices and make this your own. The smoky and sweet vinaigrette with a hint of spice will become a quick favorite!

INGREDIENTS:

Smoky Sweet Vinaigrette
  • 3 T white wine vinegar
  • 3 T good honey
  • 1/4 to 1/2 t smoky paprika
  • 1.4 to 1/2 t Aleppo pepper flakes
  • 1/3 c grapeseed oil or another flavorless oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
Grilled Shrimp and Melon Salad
  • 10 large shrimp-peeled and deveined (I like the 16-25's Individually Quick Frozen, but they must be thawed to grill.)
  • 1 T oil for brushing shrimp with (I used garlic oil)
  • Salt to sprinkle on shrimp for seasoning
  • 1/2 cantaloupe sliced into 4 crescents -skin and seeds removed
  • 1 1/2 T grapeseed oil to brush on cantaloupe
  • Champagne jelly (This is totally optional, but my cantaloupe was so bland that I brushed it with a bit of jelly to give it some flavor, after I took it off the grill)
  • 1 large handful each of mesclun greens and arugula
  • Small bunch of basil sliced into ribbons
  • 4 - 5 fresh figs, quartered or halved
  • 2 handfuls of fresh blueberries
  • 4 oz of young crumbly manchego
  • 4 oz of glazed pecans (I like Trader Joe's spicy sweet pecans.)
  • Salt and Pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:


  1. In a medium measuring cup, whisk together vinegar, honey and seasonings.Continue whisking while slowly drizzling in oil to form an emulsion. Allow to stand and let flavors develop.
  2. Preheat grill to medium high. Brush shrimp with oil and sprinkle with salt. Brush melon with oil also. Grill melon for about 1 1/2 minutes per side but melon should still remain firm. Place shrimp on grill and cook for about 1 minute on each side or until shrimp curls. Do not overcook it. Set both aside while assembling salad.
  3. I like to use individual bowls. Place handfuls of mesclun, arugula and basil in each bowl. Toss together. Top with blueberries, figs, melon and shrimp. Garnish with pecans and crumbled cheese. Drizzle with smoky sweet vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper if you'd like!
  4. Perfect with Rose, Champagne or Prosecco!
Created using The Recipes Generator

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31 comments:

  1. It's fun to drink old wine, isn't it? Or new wine, for that matter. :-) You do have to drink the stuff, eventually. We're pretty good about it -- we don't have all that much on hand, so we move through it reasonably quickly. Really fund read, good recipe -- thanks.

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    1. We do like to drink wine, but in the summer I love cocktails! However rose is perfect!

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  2. Cool that Alex has spent some time with the family, though short. The salad looks fabulous..I love the colour and flavour.

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    1. Never long enough! Pretty salad Angie and pretty delicious!

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  3. SO nice to have Alex home! I love having "adult" children :) Ours just help drink Bill's beer, LOL. Your salad looks amazing and it's so nice to see you post. LOVE the floor, too!!! xo

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    1. Ours drinks beer also, Liz! And good beer! Thanks.

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  4. Beautiful salad Abbe, never would of thought of combining shrimp and melon on my own but I bet it is fabulous and the vinaigrette sounds very special indeed. How special to have some time with Alex.....

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    1. The grilled melon is perfect Cheri! Know you would love it. I think it's always special to have time with our kids.

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  5. Cool with the old wine and the visit with your son and all!
    Sounds like you've been busy. I love the look and easy clean-up of concrete floors but couldn't talk hubby into it. Yours must be awesome!
    And the salad looks delicious. Don't recall ever mixing shrimp and melon so this sounds like a keeper. Thanks!

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    1. We also have a concrete floor in our family room but it isn't as nice as the one I just did. Love it way better than tile. Thanks Pam!

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  6. Goodness I have to make this salad! It is incredibly beautiful and I bet it is very tasty - with or without wine on the side :) Sounds like you have been very, very busy and so glad Alex came home for a bit. Fantastic! You probably need a little alone time after all that activity. Enjoy :)

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    1. I'm a pretty good multi tasker but when it comes to big, messy projects, I just want to get them done. Hence, my lack of blogging. I just can't think straight when I'm trying to do other things!

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  7. You have been busy! Love the look of your stained concrete floor. I would love to try that on our concrete porch floor but not sure the stain would hold up to the elements. Ah, Schramsberg! Know it well. We used to drink their Blanc de Noir every anniversary and then it got too pricey :) So happy for you had a brief visit from your son and got to drink (or throw out) many bottles of wine together! The grilled shrimp salad sounds wonderful and perfect with the sparkling rose.

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    1. There are many types of stain and this one actually etches itself into the concrete so it isn't going anywhere. Other than an occasional wax to keep up the shine, it is there! Thanks Susan. He has good taste, wouldn't you say?

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  8. Wow, you have much going in this salad...so summery with all the fruits in it...I love it! The dressing sounds fantastic Abbe.
    Have a wonderful week ahead :)

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    1. Thanks Juliana. A lot going on but very simple and fresh!

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  9. The colors i this are so beautiful ! And the flavor....love the smoky paprika touch!

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    1. It was a very good salad Patrick! Thanks!

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  10. Like your parents Ken and I have an extensive collection of wine, but we use Cellar Tracker. It's an great app for keeping track of wine (including drinking windows). It's fun too. Gorgeous salad too. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cellartracker/id893759800?mt=8 GREG

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    1. I do believe that's what Alex was using to start managing what we have. The problem is he left before he finished!

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  11. This salad definitely screams summer!! It's so stunning and I'm loving all the flavors and textures going on here! I absolutely need to make this soon! Cheers!

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    1. Enjoy Cheyanne and thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Your floor is SO beautiful! I'd say all that work was well worth it. And if you wanted to come help me do that in my house I wouldn't say no :). As for the salad, I'm loving it! Smoked paprika adds such a wonderful flavor to everything. Have a great week, Abbe!

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  13. Sounds like a wonderful time with your son. And a delicious salad to go with the good wine!

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  14. Mmmmm Abbe....this salad looks delicious! And bring on the WINE!! Sounds like an amazingly fun time (now that the floors are done). :) XOXO

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  15. how blessed you were to have such special moments. I never save something for a special day. Each day is a blessing. Have not heard the term 'k'vell' for so long. Time for me to see my mom and dad for sure :)

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  16. I never really think about pairing fruit and fish or meat. Probably because I cannot eat fruit. I am totally missing out, aren't I?!

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  17. Really like the idea of grilled melon with the shrimp, delicious.

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  18. Great and fun read! Sounds like you've been busy and having fun too. I know what you mean about the concrete floors. My husband did a How to video for a woman that did them professionally. We wanted to do it to our front porch, but...too much work. :) Wine, food and friends - nothing better! Love, love, love this salad!

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