seafood salad


If I served this in a restaurant I'd charge twenty-five bucks just to make a point. OK, fine ! Fifteen bucks. It has so many ingredients they're not even all showing in the photograph.

The thing is, so many of its ingredients are treated separately then brought together at the end. Lots of chopping, dicing, rinsing, gently carefully braising, heating, chilling seasoning separately, picking, tearing, opening of jars, tossing and sprinkling. It makes use of strong conflicting flavors used in moderation resulting in a symphony that must be tightly controlled so not to overwhelm the individual flavors of shrimp, halibut and crab, each with their own unique but subtle flavors which must predominate. Every single forkful is a recombination of flavors so that no two mouthfuls are exactly the same but without ever confusing. Additionally, you could graze on this all day and still lose weight, confident that you're eating healthfully.

For the dressing.

* Lemon juice into a bowl with enough size to handle a whisk.
* Olive oil reserved for the end to whip together with the following.
* Cranberry relish, already a combination of sweet + tart
* Mustard, tang, an emulsifier
* Horseradish, either grated or creamed.
* Ginger, grated
* Salt + pepper
* Habanero sauce. Anything hot. Flakes, Tabasco™, Franks™, Cholula™, whatever.

See what what's happening here? Every taste receptor on your tongue is covered. The trick is to use only about 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon each thing so nothing overwhelms but everything manages to contribute a spark of its own special magic. It's pink.

For the salad.

* Halibut is cooked separately. Incidentally, thank you, Friends, for the halibut. It's gently coddled in salted water with lemon juice added. Cut into squares and set aside. It's coated with dressing separately and added at the end so it's not tossed with the rest.

* Shrimp, pre-peeled and cleaned. Nothing was necessary except to thaw, coated along with the crab and halibut with dressing.

* Crab, pre-picked and packaged by the pound. Dressed with the shrimp and halibut

* Tomatoes, diced
* Avocado, diced, and seasoned with salt + pepper separately
* Fennel, shaved
* Pine nut heated to activate their oil and bring it to the surface.
* Artichoke hearts, marinated commercially
* Onion, sliced and rinsed to remove surface sulphur.
* Bell, pepper, cut and cleaned
* Celery, sliced
* Spinach, torn
* Romaine, cut
* Mint, fresh
* Cilantro, fresh

I considered adding apple but then I though, "What, are you CRAZY?"

If your impulse is to blurt, "Yeah, but I don't like seafood," then remind me to smack you.

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