Today I was craving shrimp. Specifically shrimp scampi – lots of garlic, lots of lemon, and crusty bread to soak all of that scampi sauce in.
So when I was at the supermarket, hunting down for the star of the dish, I was disappointed when I notice that the only thing they had were farm raised shrimp.
“Well, Monica, are we picky much?” You probably thinking… right?
When it comes to seafood - Yes I am.
Most people have no idea, and probably don’t care, that the shrimp (and other seafood) they buy in the market and eat in restaurants is most likely farm raised.
Is there a difference between farm raised and the wild variety? Think free range beef and chicken or more to the point, wild salmon versus farm raised. You pay a little more for the “real” thing but the taste is superior.
I personally have never liked the taste, feel, texture or even smell of any farm raised product. This is something that ultimately comes down to personal taste and preference. Before I ever researched the difference between farm raised vs. wild caught, I noticed a significant difference in taste and texture between the two. Natural instinct has always made me go with wild caught. I live in a beach town for christ sake!
But, today I was tired, hungry and well, the craving was not going away – if I was going to have farm raise, I wanted to make sure it was coming from a reliable source. So I drove the extra miles to my nearest Whole Foods Market, who has one of the highest standards in the industry when it comes to seafood aquaculture.
While is still not wild shrimp, their aquaculture product is much better than my local supermarket - hands down.
So I had the shrimps.. next stop my kitchen and skillet.
But, as things often happen, When I started on my scampi I realized that the amount of shrimp that I had was not going to go far with 3 hungry people… Plan B went into overdrive.
And the Cold Shrimp Scampi Rolls were born.
Here is my quick and easy version for this amazing sandwich.
My tip: go easy on the mayo, let the seafood (or, if you have the bucks use lobster instead) be the star here.
COLD SHRIMP SCAMPI ROLLS
1 pound of medium size shrimp cooked scampi style
1 tablespoon of lime juice
scampi sauce (from the cooked shrimp)
1 stalk celery, diced
1 teaspoon of minced chives
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of hot sauce (I use sriracha)
salt and pepper to taste
Butter – to toast the buns
½ of avocado peeled and slice thin
Baby spinach leaves (or lettuce)
4 hot dog buns
Start by making the shrimp scampi, (click above for recipe). Note: The difference I use already peeled and deveined shrimp in this recipe and omitted the chopped parsley/herb.
After you finish the scampi, we need to bring these bad boys down in temperature and the fastest way to do this is to move them to a baking pan, spread them out and place in the freezer for about 5-7 minutes or so. The scampi sauce gets the cold treatment as well, pour into mixing bowl and into the freezer it goes as well.
After about 5 minutes, take out the bowl with the scampi sauce and add the diced celery, chives, mayo, hot sauce, and lemon juice. Mix and taste, season with salt and pepper and add more lime juice if needed. Add the cold shrimp and taste again – season if needed. Put back in the refrigerator while you prepare the buns.
Prep the buns: Lightly brush inside of rolls with butter; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast (in a toaster or a pre-heated oven to 375°F) until light golden, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Putting it all together: Line each of the buns with the baby spinach (or lettuce) then place a couple of slices of avocado, sprinkle a bit of salt on top of the avocado slices to season them and finally top with the shrimp mixture.
Then sit back and watch how your husband and step-son wobble them up like candy. I mean really how can you say no to something that looks like this?