We are in the middle of a heat wave. We are getting a little respite yesterday and this morning as thunder storms move through the area. They have put on quite the show with massive thunder and lightening and a couple of downpours, but they are on their way out and temperatures will be back in the high 90’s by this afternoon. This is the Pacific Northwest, for heaven’s sake. We don’t appreciate this crazy weather. I was invited to my friend, Sandie’s, birthday party last Saturday night and I wanted to take something that would hold up well and would be a festive addition to the buffet table. I chose a special version of the classic SHRIMP LOUIE that everybody seemed to like because there wasn’t one single noodle left in the dish by the end of dinner.
If you aren’t familiar with a Louie Salad, it a very popular West Coast dish composed of crab or shrimp, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, sometimes cucumber and avocado, black olives and (usually) ice berg lettuce. The classic shrimp louie is made with cocktail shrimp, but they can sometimes be a little too “fishy” for me so I use a larger shrimp (50-70 count) and cut them in half lengthwise. James Beard used to insist that Shrimp Louie originated in his hometown (and mine) of Portland but everything I have read about it suggests that it and a Crab Louis were first made in San Francisco.
I wanted to make a salad with some substance for my friend’s birthday dinner so I added very small macaroni pasta to the classic Louie ingredients, and I thought it turned out great. I will be making this version often this summer I’m sure, and I can’t wait to try it with crab instead of shrimp. This is hearty enough to be an entree along with some crusty bread and a nice Oregon white wine.
West Coasters can get passionate about what makes a proper Louie dressing and you can find my favorite version HERE. All versions have a mayonnaise base with the addition of tomato sauce…my favorite is a spicy chili sauce. I wanted to appeal to everybody’s taste for the birthday buffet so made a light mayo dressing with lemon juice and a little dill…it was delicious. If you love a good macaroni salad I hope you will try this version. Shrimp is available at Costco at a reasonable price and a couple of pounds go a long way. This would be a treat at any summertime gathering.
- 1 pound cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp
- 8 ounces macaroni pasta, cooked according to directions on box
- ½ cup chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
- 5 hard boiled eggs, 3 diced to add to salad, 2 sliced for garnish
- 2 tablespooons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Slice cooked shrimp in half lengthwise. Add to pasta in a large bowl along with celery, relish, tomatoes, red onion, 3 diced hard boiled eggs, parsley and dill.
- Combine mayonnaise and lemon juice. Combine with pasta mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
- Make several hours up to a day ahead so flavors have the chance to blend.