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.
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.
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 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.