Now that it’s summer I like to make great quick meals that do not create too much heat in the kitchen. My shrimp and pasta salad is just the thing to keep things cool because the preparation only requires boiling water, and the dish is served cold.
This fun family meal serves four.
20 Shrimp – large 20 to 30 count per pound – pealed and deveined
2 Cups Seashell shaped pasta
2 Celery sticks cut in half the long way and then thinly cut
½ Cup onion – diced
4 oz jar Pimientos – diced
3 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese cut into small cubes
½ Cup frozen peas
1 Tbsp Basil – chopped
½ Cup Mayonnaise
1/3 Cup Ketchup
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 or 3 dashes of Tobasco Sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
Salt to taste
1 Lettuce head
Boil seashell pasta per instructions on box. Place the frozen peas in the strainer and when pasta is cooked drain the pasta over the frozen peas. Cool the pasta down by running cold water over the pasta and peas in the strainer. Shake all the water from the pasta and place pasta/peas in a large bowl.
In a pot large enough to hold a metal strainer pour a couple inches of water, place a metal strainer in the pot making certain the water is below the level of the strainer. Place the pealed and deveined shrimp on the strainer, bring water to a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat to medium high, and steam the shrimp for 3 minutes. When done, turn off the burner, and with a covered hand remove strainer with shrimp and place the sink to shower the shrimp with cold water.
Add the cooled shrimp, onion, cheese, and basil to the cooled pasta. Drain pimientos and add to bowl.
In a small stirring bowl combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon, tobacco sauce, salt and pepper and stir. Pour the sauce over the pasta and gently fold the sauce into the shrimp and pasta. Place the pasta bowl in refrigerator.
Prior to serving the meal, wash enough lettuce leaves so that whole leaves can be arranged on each serving plate. Next, scoop a serving of pasta onto the lettuce, and serve your great creation.
As some of you know, by day I am an attorney. The nature of my practice is evolving, as am I. But, at one point in my career I was a partner in a 40 lawyer firm. I really enjoyed working at that firm. For many years we were able to maintain a wonderful collegial atmosphere.
On a few occasions I was selected as the firm’s representative to travel to London to meet with and entertain clients such as Lloyds of London, and London Underwriters. I grew up in flyover country, and although I had seen the Atlantic Ocean, I had never crossed it until my first business trip to London.
My first flight on British Airways was scheduled to depart LA late in the afternoon for an overnight flight to London. I had flown First Class one time, years earlier, while accompanying a US District Judge to St. Louis to sit on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. But that domestic, short haul, first class flight did not compare to British Airways business class.
Prior to the flight I relaxed in the British Airways club lounge, and when it was time to board we were escorted to the gate and boarded privately. Next I was directed to go up a spiral staircase in the 747 to access the business class section on the second level of the plane. Although I was an “LA lawyer”, my roots were basically rural, so I found the whole experience pretty exciting. There I was sipping a drink in the upper portion of the plane while the other 400 or so passengers boarded. Yes siree, I had arrived.
The next morning, while enjoying my breakfast we flew over Iceland, or if not, something that should have been named Iceland. Eventually our pilot put us on the approach pattern into Heathrow. For quite some time there had been cloud cover below the plane, but as we descended through the clouds I was able to catch glimpses of the lovely green countryside. The Walter Mitty in me began to imagine that the view of the English countryside I was enjoying may have been similar to the view pilots in their Spitfire fighter planes may have observed while scanning the clouds for enemy aircraft long ago.
Upon landing I was thrilled to see a Concorde on the tarmac. That was the one and only Concorde I ever saw. The Concorde was such a beautiful plane.
In between meetings with various brokers and claims representatives, I would sightsee about the town as much as possible. But mostly I viewed London from pubs and restaurants because, ironic as this sounds, I was there on business. Pubs are a blast. I love the community feeling of a pub and, oh yes, the great beer.
On one particular night I closed down a pub with a client, and as we had not yet solved all the world’s problems, we taxied over to my hotel to discuss the issues in the hotel bar. I do not know why, but for some reason hotel bars can remain open after the pubs are shut down.
In the moment, the decision to reconvene in the hotel bar seemed brilliant. However, the next morning while dressing for my first scheduled business meetings the prior evening’s idea did not shine so brilliantly.
My midmorning meeting was with a company that was renowned for its beautiful antique espresso and tea brewing equipment in their conference room. Of course we were served tea, which in this instance was in tiny little china cups. My tea cup had an itsy bitsy handle. As I daintily grasped the little handle and began to lift the tea cup off the saucer I was again reminded that my late night post pub crawl was not a good idea. As I lifted the tea cup my hand began to tremble. Very casually I brought my other hand over to assist in the holding of the teeny tiny tea cup. Of course, the Brit that I had been pub crawling with was sipping his tea and doing just fine and dandy with one hand.
How in the heck do they do it? I think drinking is in their DNA. Based upon a Benjamin Franklin biography I read, in the 1700’s the English of pretty much all ages drank beer at every meal because the water in those days was so unsanitary. Hey, I was not around in the 1700’s so I don’t know if the story is accurate. But, if it is accurate, it could explain the apparent immunity the Brits have to the effects of massive amounts of beer.
In any event, I survived the meeting, and was off to a lunch meeting which of course commenced with cocktails followed by wine with the meal. Seems I was adjusting to life in the UK, albeit circa 1700.
That was the nature of all my trips to London. I knew all the good pubs and restaurants. I really must visit London again so I can branch out from pubs and restaurants to better experience its wonderful historical venues. Heck, I hear there is a palace in London with a Queen in residence protected by colorfully outfitted guards. Who knew?
Good Eating and Table Talk,