A Quick Dinner That's as Easy as Boiling Water

A Quick Dinner That’s as Easy as Boiling Water

With the kids back in school, the usual week night activities re-starting and the mad rush to get dinner on the table I though I’d share a simple dish that my kids love.

How simple is it? Well, if you can boil water you can make this dinner in 25 minutes or less. Seriously.

It’s great for grown-ups as we can call it a salad and for kids who might be on the pickier side, it’s really just shrimps and potatoes. The slightly sweet vinaigrette gives a nice tang to the shrimp, and crisp greens and it also gets a bit of heft from the potatoes. Fresh dill, seemingly everywhere in our garden this year, gives it a nice touch too. As with most main course salads, it can be assembled into a single salad or deconstructed into a serving of shrimp and potatoes and greens. It can be served warm or it can be made up to a day ahead served cold.

Double bonus: It keeps my pescatarian daughter happy and my potato loving boy full.

Don’t like shrimp? You could just as easily poach lobster, monkfish, or a thick piece of cod.

Shrimp, potato and pickled onion salad with dill

3 or 4 golf ball-sized potatoes per person (or two potatoes cut into about 10 pieces)
1 pound (400 grams) of 21-30 count shrimp (five to six per person)
2 cloves of garlic, mashed
Fresh dill
1 cup of red onion, sliced thin
1 cup of red wine vinegar
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
Salad greens

Vinaigrette
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1.5 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Olive oil
Fresh dill, roughly chopped

  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot of salted water, cover, turn on the highest heat and set a timer for 22 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, a bunch of fresh dill, a pinch of salt to a large saute pan and fill with a few inches of water (enough to cover the shrimp). Bring to a rolling simmer—it should not quite be boiling, you need a gentle approach here to avoid overcooking the shrimp. Add the shrimp (frozen shrimp will cook in about five minutes, fresh shrimp in three). You want the shrimp to turn pink and the tails should just be curling in—like a “C.” Once the shrimp have cooked, remove from water and peel the shells (if you’re serving the shrimp cool/cold , run them under cold water while you peel the shells).
  3. Combine the red wine vinegar, water, salt, sugar and thinly sliced red onion in a small pot and bring to the boil. After five minutes, remove from heat and let cool. (These pickled onions will keep in your fridge for a week and are great with smoked salmon, on salads, on tacos, etc.)
  4. To make the vinaigrette combine sugar, vinegar and Dijon. Stir to dissolve and then gently add olive oil in a slow, steady stream whisking constantly until the dressing has emulsified. Stir in the chopped dill to finish
  5. When the potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife (20 minutes or so should do it), remove from heat and drain. Now you can chill the potatoes in the fridge or just assemble the salad: dress the greens lightly, add the shrimp and potatoes, top with a bit more dressing, fresh dill, and some pickled red onion. Enjoy.

Get Mike’s great family meal-planning advice here!

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Michael Forbes

About

Michael, a communications professional by day, is a father of two, an avid (but bad) hockey player, and an amateur cook. He finds it incredibly challenging to write about himself in the third person.


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