When one of my husband’s former students was getting married, friends threw a “Kitchen Shower” and they asked for a recipe to go into a file box for her. I gave her the recipe below, since she was a Catholic marrying another ‘good’ Catholic. I put a note saying, “This is good for Fridays during Lent”. He sister said, “No! It’s cheese enchiladas every Friday during Lent!” Their father was of French descent, but their mother was Mexican. Her enchiladas were delicious, if a bit hot for me…even her ‘mild ones’. It seems some of their children had her taste buds, but some of them had their French genes show up there and the Mom had to make both types.
However, in keeping with the seafood theme I have been running, this is a recipe that is not only good for Lent, but we eat it often in the summer. It is cool and can be made up to a day ahead of time,(and earlier, if you add the lettuce later.)
It is versatile; You can use any grilled fish, crab meat or lobster,(although I have never used lobster). I usually use ‘imitation’ crab meat, but only those that are made with crab meat and real whitefish,(usually Pollock). Read the labels; many ‘imitation crab meats’ are made with Surimi, which is the fish equivalent of ‘pink slime’ that has been creeping into ground beef. These are made from scrap flesh that have been processed. It is considered ‘natural’ but I find it tasteless and rubbery. I avoid it .Brands made without it is about the same price; I see no reason to buy the ones that contain surimi.
Vegetable pastas add a bit more nutrition and flavor, and the color makes it all the more attractive.
Today’s is made with shrimp,(not farmed; the smaller they are the more affordable) and bow-tie pasta. I usually use rotini or fiori; they hold together through the mixing process better and looks much more impressive.
Seafood Pasta Salad
½ lb of sturdy pasta, preferably ‘garden or tri-colored'( rotini, radiatore, wagon wheels or fiori,), slightly under-cooked
2 hard-cooked (hard-boiled) eggs, minced or riced
½ lb(or more) grilled fish, small shrimp ,crab meat or imitation crab
½ cup shredded carrot
¼ cup sliced or diced black olives (optional; one son does not like them)
1/3 cup thinly sliced celery
1/8 cup minced onion, (green onions or yellow bulb onions
¼ tsp. celery salt (or regular/sea salt)
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp celery seed (optional)
1 ½ cups shredded lettuce,(leaf or red can be used, but iceberg holds up the best)
1 cup prepared mayonnaise
Cook and cool the pasta and eggs.
Place the mayo, celery seed,(if using), paprika, and onion in a large bowl. Mix.
Add carrots, celery and olives,(again, if using), and mix well.
Fold in pasta and then gently fold in lettuce.(If serving more than 16 hours ahead, wait to add lettuce).
Chill and serve.
You have a nice, one –bowl meal that is wonderful for a Spring or Summer luncheon, light dinner or potluck