Aug 12, 2013

Zig Instead of Zag {Blackened Shrimp Pasta Salad w/ Creole Tomato Dressing}

I may have gone about this the wrong way.

Blackened Shrimp Pasta Salad: Ms. enPlace

Zigged when I should have zagged.

Some things are thrown together via pantry raid.  (After reading through this three times, I keep seeing "panty raid.")

Anyway...things get made that never surface here because I have no recipe.  No way to replicate because I get in the zone (zoning out) and dump whatever sounds good into a pan without writing anything down.

Other times I feed my exacting tendencies.  Like with this.

Blackened Shrimp Pasta Salad: Ms. enPlace

Last summer I decided I wanted to make a pasta salad using Creole Tomato Dressing.

By that point, the tomatoes (and everything else) were done.  So I had to wait until this summer.

Blackened Shrimp Pasta Salad: Ms. enPlace

For about a year now I've visited this pasta salad idea now and then.  Planning the recipe in my head.  Writing it in my mind on long drives.  In the shower.  Mentally scratching out and replacing.  Picturing the tastes.  You know what I mean, right?  Composing it down to the quarter cups and teaspoons.

Thinking about something...creating and revising for so long, leads to high expectations.  While this pasta salad was ok, it didn't--and, frankly, couldn't--live up to the version in my head.

Maybe an off-the-cuff pantry raid should have been my route instead of over-thinking?

Blackened Shrimp Pasta Salad: Ms. enPlace

Print It

Blackened Shrimp Pasta Salad w/ Creole Tomato Dressing

Creole Tomato Dressing can be made a day or two ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

1 recipe Creole Tomato Dressing (see below)
1 lb short pasta such as penne, macaroni, radiatore
1 1/2 tsp blackening seasoning
1/2 lb small shrimp
5-6 slices bacon
1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped mild peppers, such as banana peppers
salt and pepper, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, rinse, set aside.

Meanwhile, sprinkle blackening seasoning over the shrimp, toss to coat, and let sit while you cook the bacon.

Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp.  Drain on paper towels and crumble.

Remove bacon drippings from the skillet, add the shrimp, and saute until shrimp are cooked through.

In a large bowl, add the pasta, tomatoes, green onion, peppers, and bacon.  Pour in the dressing and toss.  Add the shrimp and toss gently.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Serve.

Creole Tomato Dressing
2 medium to large very ripe Creole tomatoes, quartered
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp roughly chopped parsley
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
1 heaping Tbsp Creole mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise

In a blender or food processor, puree tomatoes and garlic together.  Add in the remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the mayo.  Process until thoroughly mixed.  Pour into a bowl and whisk in the mayo to thicken and turn the dressing creamy.  Taste and season with more salt if needed.  Cover and keep refrigerated. Makes about 2 cups.

Standard Blackening Seasoning
1 Tbsp paprika
1/2 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano

Combine all spices.  Store in an airtight container.  Makes about 1/3 cup.

Linking with:

Who Needs a Cape?  Linky
Memories by the Mile
 Hearth and Soul blog hop at Premeditated Leftovers
Feeding Big
Love Bakes Good Cakes
nap-time creations
White Lights on Wednesdays
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage Photobucket BWS tips button Freedom Fridays


  1. OHG! This look scrumptious. I can't wait to share it with James. I've never heard of Creole tomatoes? I see you're going to share it at Tuesday Trivia, thanks and be sure and check back Friday's Features my dear.
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile
    oh and I pinned it!

  2. That's why most of my recipes are dump this in and dump that in and keep dumping until it tastes good. :) I think this looks yummy - I am a sucker for pasta salads.

  3. Michelle, This looks so scrumptious! I don't care whether you zigged or zagged to get there, I am just glad you shared it with us. That dressing sounds great and adding bacon and shrimp... well how could that be bad. Thank again, I can't wait to try this one.

  4. Oh, Michelle! Yum!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. That looks soooo good!
    I giggled at the "panty raid" thing....totally what I read it as...

  6. Dear Michelle, This salad looks so delicious! Oh I could have this for lunch today. Found you through Tasteful Tuesdays. Blessings, Catherine

  7. Hi Michelle,
    This is a fabulous Shrimp Salad, and I am so excited to get the blackening spice recipe. Can't wait to try this dish! Thank you so much for sharing your delicious recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
    Have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen

  8. Oh my! I bet that salad is amazing, Michelle! I've pinned this and I'm sharing this on Facebook today - thanks so much for linking up to All My Bloggy Friends! Have a great weekend! {hugs}

  9. Anonymous9/02/2013

    Panty raid


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