Recipe: Holiday appetizer or salad with Gulf shrimp by Charlie Abowd

Gulf Shrimp Salad

Gulf Shrimp Salad

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I have no idea where 2016 went, but here we are in December, with 2017 waiting just around the corner.

We are in the Season of Giving, and I encourage each of you to help others in our community. Food donations to local pantries, toys and clothes for children of all ages in need, putting together a little gift basket or buying a grocery gift card for an elderly neighbor or family in need, or inviting someone without a place to be for Christmas dinner, are all ways to uplift.

Here at Cafe at Adele’s we’re collecting for Reno Rodeo Foundation’s Denim Drive, through Dec. 23. Clothing for all ages of children, toddler through teens are needed, and are given to those who have been removed from dangerous home situations. Clothing for teens are especially needed. All items stay within the county in which they’re collected, and cash donations can be made year around at

We recently hosted Cookies with Santa, our annual benefit event for Ron Wood Family Resource Center’s work through Toys for Tots. Donations can continue to be made at the center, 2621 Northgate Lane, Carson City.

This outreach serves children in both Carson and Dayton areas, and Joyce Buckingham, center executive director, has said the greatest need is actually for young people ages pre-teen through teen. She suggests such items as sports equipment, games and arts and crafts kits as good items for older kids, suitable for either a boy or girl. Our commitment is every child, regardless of age, should have a joyful Christmas. Folks who need some help can call the following numbers through Dec. 23: 775-781-6079 for Spanish and 775-781-8838 for English. Calls are taken Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Messages will be returned no later than the following morning.

So take a moment to look around, see where you feel moved to lend a hand, and help to make the season bright!

And now to cooking! This year, I give you a wonderful dish that can be used as an appetizer or salad. This can be served on one platter, family style or as individual servings. The recipe is for four people, so multiply accordingly and as needed.

The recipe does call for Wild Gulf Shrimp, which can be purchased already cleaned and deveined at any grocery store. Don’t use farm-raised, for all the reasons I have outlined in previous columns.

The key to perfect presentation lies in how the ingredients are cut, and that method will be outlined. Now let’s get to it.

Holiday Appetizer/Salad with Wild Gulf Shrimp

(Serves four)

Salad ingredients:

2 hothouse, vine-ripened tomatoes

1 purple onion

4 large radishes

1 cucumber, approximately 10 inches

1 bunch fresh scallions

2 fresh lemons (we are allowing two in the event they are dry. If juicy, use only the juice of one lemon.)

8 large Gulf Shrimp

Kosher salt


Garlic powder


First, cut ends off tomato and set aside, as they will be used in the sauce. Proceed to slice tomatoes 1/2-inch thick, for a total of eight slices; two per serving.

When slicing the red onion and radishes, first, cut the ends. Then seat the onion and radish on one cut end, slicing downward and in half and then proceed to slice into 1/8-inch thickness. This is a simple step when used adds a cohesive and finished look during presentation.

To cook the shrimp, first clean and devein, unless you’ve purchased them already cleaned. Place in a baking pan with at least a one-inch side on it. Season lightly with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and garlic powder. Pour a bit of water in the bottom, which will create the steam needed to cook the shrimp. Place in preheated, 350-degree oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until shrimp turn a slight pink. Over-cooking will cause them to be tough. When they’re done, remove from oven and set aside, allowing them to cool.

Sauce Ingredients:

1 pint organic tomato ketchup (I prefer Trader Joe’s brand)

1 teaspoon pure horseradish (do not use creamed)

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Scallions, finely sliced

Tomato ends, finely chopped


In a bowl, mix 1/2 pint of ketchup, horseradish, garlic, scallions and tomato ends. Mix well and set aside.

To assemble for family-style presentation, lay tomatoes out, side-by-side in a long serving dish. Next, evenly place onion, radish and cucumber slices over tomatoes and then sprinkle with scallions. Place shrimp one on each tomato slice. Squeeze the lemon juice over the salad. To soften the lemon(s), roll gently on the counter, prior to cutting.

Finish with one dollop of sauce in the center of each shrimp.

NOTE: For individual presentation, use two tomato slices and two shrimp per plate, dividing other ingredients equally over each.

I would serve this with a lovely Cline Cellars’ Pinot Noir, or ask your wine expert at any local wine and spirits shop for their recommendations.

Cheers and a merry Christmas, everyone!

Chef Charlie Abowd co-owns Café at Adele’s with his wife Karen Abowd. Café at Adele’s is located at 1112 N. Carson St., Carson City, and is open daily at 8 a.m. for breakfast. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. For more information or to makes reservations, call 775-882-3353, or visit


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