When I think of May I often think of spring time lunch with friends. This is also the month to celebrate Mother’s Day; therefore I thought it would be a nice to share an easy lunch to prepare for entertaining.
photo by Doug Korody Serves: 4
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
4 center-cut bacon slices, optional
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon oil (avocado, canola, or grape seed)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or more to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Salad greens (approximately 10 ounces)
Avocado, large dice
Fresh strawberries, sliced
Cashews (or nut of choice, sliced almonds would be good too)
Mustard vinaigrette (see recipe below)
Pastry bowl: Preheat oven to 400°. Thaw puff pastry per package directions. On a floured surface, roll dough to a thickness of approximately 1/8” thickness. I use metal tortilla forms (see picture 1) but you can use any oven safe bowl. You want to make 2 bowls per sheet of puff pastry. Cut a circle to fit the inside of the bowl, trim the dough at the top (you may need to re-roll the puff pastry with the scraps to make the second bowl).
Cut a piece of parchment paper to line the inside of the bowl and then place weights on top of the parchment paper approximately half way up the side (see picture 2). I use ceramic pie weights, but in the past I have used dried beans as weights.
Place in oven and cook for approximately 15 minutes, remove the parchment paper and weights carefully, I pick up the side of the parchment paper and place the whole package into a bowl. Prick the bottom of the puff pastry with a wooden skewer a few times. Return to oven and cook another 5-10 minutes, or until the bottom of the bowl is cooked (see picture 3). Remove from form and place you pastry bowl on a wire rack until cooled. These can be made the day ahead, placed in a storage bag once cooled.
Salad: Cook the 4 pieces of bacon in a pan until crisp. Remove and place on a paper towel lined dish. When the bacon is cooled, cut each slice into several pieces crosswise. In a bowl, toss the shrimp with the oil, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder and freshly ground black pepper. Cook the shrimp, either outside on the grill or use a stovetop grill pan a few minutes per side. Set aside.
Mustard vinaigrette: In a bowl, whisk 2 ½ tablespoons lemon juice, 1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to taste.
Assembly: Just before serving toss the lettuce greens with the vinaigrette, divide evenly into the puff pastry bowls. Top each evenly with the bacon, shrimp, avocado, strawberries, and cashews. You get to eat the bowl with your salad!