Chopped Salad

Posted by Leticia, 01 Jul 06

Chopped Salad

Dr. Wright:
This is Dr. Leticia Wright with IDC dating.com. IDC dating is creating multicultural relationships everyday. We are with Rocky Fino, our sexy chef who has a book called "Will Cook for Sex." (Inaudible) "Will Cook for Sex."

Rocky Fino:
I could be.

Your perfect partner could be online right now...

What are you looking for?

Dr. Wright:
You could be, and he's going to share with us a great recipe today and it's a salad. This recipe is specifically for dating and how you can set it up, so it is just a great romantic evening. So what is the name of the salad?

Rocky Fino:
It is a chopped shrimp salad. I call it "prawns in shreds."

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
What is cool about it is the salad is a combination of a fair amount of ingredients but none of them exotic. You would be able to find them all at the store, but the cool part about is it's a combination of a number of flavors and works out to be a meal in itself.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. How do we get started?

Rocky Fino:
What we are going to do is do some shopping.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
This one requires a little bit of shopping. Like a said, we got a few ingredients to roll through.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Let us go down our ingredients list.

Rocky Fino:
You ready?

Dr. Wright:
We will talk about it. Go ahead.

Rocky Fino:
All right. We are going to make this salad. Now, the ingredients I got serves four, which is okay because you could save some for later

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Or if you just feel you want to light it up, just cut the ingredients in half.

Dr. Wright:
Got it.

Rocky Fino:
We are going two avocados.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
One lemon.

Dr. Wright:
One lemon. Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Green onions.

Dr. Wright:
Green onions?

Rocky Fino:
You are going to buy a bunch of green onions and we are going to use about a quarter to a half cup chopped.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Bacon.

Dr. Wright:
Bacon.

Rocky Fino:
Two to four strips, but you end up buying the package.

Dr. Wright:
Yeah. I don't think they're going to give two strips.

Rocky Fino:
That is right.

Dr. Wright:
I just need two strips. (Inaudible). I just want two strips.

Rocky Fino:
Lime.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Some cherry tomatoes or baby tomatoes.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Cilantro.

Dr. Wright:
That sounds great.

Rocky Fino:
You bet. You grab one bunch. We won't use it all, but we got to bite in the bunch. A head of iceberg lettuce.

Dr. Wright:
All right.

Rocky Fino:
About a half pound of shrimp.

Dr. Wright:
Do we have to look for a specific size?

Rocky Fino:
You want the smaller ones, about the 40-count.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
It doesn't matter because you are going to chop them up if you get a different count, but I think the key here is buy the ones that are peeled and deveined already.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Buy them raw. We want raw shrimp but we are going to buy peeled and deveined because we eliminate that step. That is work.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
For our cilantro puree, which is the dressing we are going to use, you are going to need sour cream.

Dr. Wright:
Sour cream.

Rocky Fino:
We've already got the ingredients, the cilantro and lime that we have already got. So that's our shopping list.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Does it work if we use like the low-fat sour cream or does it change it?

Rocky Fino:
If you have one that you have tasted before that you liked, that will be fine.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Sometimes, I have done some of those low fats and marked away a little dissatisfied. What is nice about making your own dressing, and this is where salads are interesting. Everybody likes salad cause they feel like they are eating better and a little healthier. They don't mind taking a shot at some eating and a second helping, but if you ever watch somebody eat a salad, they make a nice little arrangement of healthy items and then they drown it in some bottled heavy dressing and they kill the whole purpose.

Dr. Wright:
Exactly.

Rocky Fino:
So we are not going to do that. We're going to make our own little puree.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. That is wonderful. That is kind of exciting once you say "Oh, and I made the salad dressing too."

Rocky Fino:
You bet. You are making it all from scratch and she is going to like that.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
What I think is cool is, again, this is you are in one of your early times where you are cooking for and this is a casual night in at your place and you are showing her that "hey, you know what," most guys when they say they're going to cook for some girl, the first vision the woman has is pork ribs or (inaudible) chicken barbeque grilled and chicken wings, or a pot of chili or something like that. This is kind of cool cause she's coming over, it's a salad. Most women like salad and neither party on each side is afraid to have an extra helping.

Dr. Wright:
Exactly. Okay. Great. Where do we go from there? We've got our ingredients. We've been to the store.

Rocky Fino:
We've been to the store. We're going to get started.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
First things first. We're going to get our bacon cooked. Now, we're going to take the strips of bacon and we're going to slice some in the 8-inch strips.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Crosswise in the 8-inch strip, and then we cook it till crispy, fry it in a pan. You want it crispy. You don't want it soft cause you're sprinkling it into the salad, so cook it till crispy and then remove it, typical bacon. You remove it on the paper towel and let the towel absorb the grease and then set the bacon aside.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Now, what we're going to do to cook our shrimp? We've got our shrimp peeled and deveined.

Dr. Wright:
Yeah.

Rocky Fino:
So what we're going to do is we're going to add the shrimp and take your lemon, cut it in half, and squeeze half that lemon into a pot of water. A quarter of water in a pot and you are going to squeeze the lemon juice into the water. What that does is it eliminates the fishy flavor and smell of the shrimp.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Great.

Rocky Fino:
You are going to squeeze the lemon and then drop the half of the squeezed lemon into the water.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Add your prawns to the water. So we got prawns and lemon, and then bring this quarter of water with the prawns and lemon to a boil.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Now, shrimps done at about the point of the water boiling/

Dr. Wright:
Okay. So it doesn't need a long boil?

Rocky Fino:
No. Shrimps are very quick.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
So once you've brought the water to a boil, what you're looking for is the shrimp to turn white. Shrimps are translucent to begin with and then they're cooked when they are white.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
So then remove them from the boiling water, and then just take them over to the sink and run them under some cool water from the faucet, slightly cool water to cool the shrimp down.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
At that point, we're stopping them from cooking.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
If you put them aside and just left them in the boiling water, they'd overcook. So we're going to (inaudible) water and we're going to chop it up into about 0.5-inch pieces.

Dr. Wright:
Great.

Rocky Fino:
Lay it on the cutting board and just chop it up. It doesn't have to be exact but make bite-size chunks, and we're going to push that aside also, so now we've got our bacon and our shrimp aside.

Dr. Wright:
Got it.

Rocky Fino:
All right?

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
The only trick to this recipe is we have to have a blender because we're going to make our cilantro puree using the blender.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Great.

Rocky Fino:
So we're going to do with the blender, we're going to add our sour cream, about six tablespoons of sour cream, and then we're going to squeeze in two tablespoons of lime juice into the blender also.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Cilantro, we're going to remove the leaves from the stems and add about a third of a cup of loose cilantro leaves, loosely packed into the blender also. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Use your own. Probably a heavy pinch of salt, light pinch of pepper.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
But with things that requires salt and pepper, you always just take a little taste of the spoon and see if you need more.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Great.

Rocky Fino:
But that should do it. Blend that up. It will blend quick, won't take but 10 to 15 seconds in the blender. Create some nice green speckled puree that is attractive.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Great.

Rocky Fino:
It is a real cool flavor to go with the salad. It is kind of nice.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Now, we're going to take all those other ingredients we've got out and we're going to chop them up. That's how we got the name chopped salad.

Dr. Wright:
Great.

Rocky Fino:
Take the little cherry tomatoes. Just cut them in half. Then we're going to take our cilantro leaves. We're going to take some more cilantro leaves and we're going to remove the leaves from the stems again.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
You're going to use about another quarter cup of the cilantro leaves. You're going to take your avocado. Now the avocado we're going to half it and then you're going to peel the avocado skin, the meat of the avocado out of its skin. Chop that into little 0.5-inch squares.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Does it matter if it's (inaudible) avocado or what kind of avocado?

Rocky Fino:
You want a ripe avocado. That is the key, and it is tricky cause sometimes, depending on where you are at in the country, you could see what people think an avocado is supposed to be, light green bricks that would kill you if you got hit by one.

Dr. Wright:
Well, avocados are kind of (inaudible).

Rocky Fino:
You want a ripe one. They are very dark skinned when they are ripe and they are very soft.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Yeah. It is really cute. Ripe avocado makes the big difference with the nice creamy flavor of an avocado. We're going to take our iceberg lettuce. We're also going to chop that into 0.5-inch squares. Then we take our green onions and chop those, about 0.5 inch also.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. So that will turn out to be what, about a half a cup?

Rocky Fino:
Use about a half cup of the green onions.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Great. All right.

Rocky Fino:
Now, in a big mixing bowl, place the chopped iceberg lettuce in the bowl first.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
What I do is just add basically all your ingredients that we've combined. On top of that, we've got our chopped shrimp. Bring back our bacon. Put in our chopped tomatoes, our chopped green onions, our chopped avocado, and then we are going to take and add, again I'd like to air on the side of less dressing myself. There's a ton of flavor in this salad. What is really fun about this salad is that it's a combination of all kind, between the avocado and the bacon and the shrimp. Every bite provides a new flavor. So the dressing is a nice combination with it but don't overdo it.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. So it is just really to add a little bit to the vegetables but not to overpower the flavor that the salad has created already by itself.

Rocky Fino:
Which is a common mistake made by a lot of people. They always overpower the sauces and dressings when they're cooking and they don't (inaudible) what ends up happening is you drown out the flavor that's from the natural ingredients. If you want to be able to taste those, ease on the dressing, and we're going to mix it.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Take a set of tongs. You got a nice mixing bowl (inaudible) tongs and/or spoon and just mix it. Be gentle when you mix it. If you really grind it, you are going to loose up the avocado in the vegetables, so be gentle when you mix it. With the puree, it is a thicker dressing, it will cover nicely and it does not settle at the bottom. A lot of times, you will see a dressing that settles all down to the bottom of the bowl.

Dr. Wright:
Right. We have got a (inaudible).

Rocky Fino:
This one will hold well. So now, you mix it and we're good to go. This is a nice full meal in itself. We've got shrimp, bacon, avocado, a bunch of vegetables in there. It shows beautiful and it is a hearty salad. At this point, it is a great meal that the two of you can have, good health, good serving of it. Enjoy the flavor and I will just combine that with a bottle of chardonnay.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Or if the two of you are into beer, a light logger. You would not want a heavy dark beer with this but I would combine with the shrimp and everything, I do it light gold logger

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Or like I said, a white chardonnay. You can venture in the evening with maybe a lighter red, like a Pinot Noir

Dr. Wright:
That makes it really elegant.

Rocky Fino:
Yeah. The nice Pinot gives a (inaudible). You don't want to get too heavy beyond that, you know a big Zinfandel is kind of a bold flavor. It doesn't combo well with the salad.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Wow.

Rocky Fino:
Now, we got a casual night. The two of us are sitting down and I know from my history, I found women really appreciate a salad. It is a nice search. It shows that, like I said, you are not the typical (inaudible) that is out there that only knows how to do is go to the grill and grind up a big T-bone for you. That is not exactly what she is coming over for.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. All we really needed to make is with a bowl, mixing tong, a knife of course to chop, and the blender.

Rocky Fino:
The blender. Yeah. Everybody's got the knife and the cutting board and I'm assuming at this point that everybody's got a mixing bowl. The key here is if you got a blender for the puree. Now, if you don't have a blender, you can finally chop the cilantro in a mixing bowl. You could mix the lemon juice, salt pepper, and sour cream. Blender mixes it better. It really grinds up that cilantro flavor in there so if it is blended, the nicer the dish is. But if you don't have the blender, don't quit on it. You could do it.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Great. This is a delicious salad. This is Rocky's chopped salad now.

Rocky Fino:
That is right. My prawns in shreds, winner.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. That is awesome. Thank you so much Rocky. It sounds delicious. I'm telling you I'm ready to run out and make this myself. It's good to have a friend like you because definitely, my eating is improved.

Rocky Fino:
That is right. You got to expend and constantly create new varieties for people to enjoy, so it's always fun to come across people that are into cooking and exchange recipes and everything like that.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. This is great. Well, this has been Dr. Leticia Wright with Rocky Fino from "Will Cook for Sex" and I want to thank you guys for listening. We are doing all of this as part of IDC dating.com special information for you. IDC dating.com is creating multicultural relationships everyday. So, I will see you next time. Remember, ignoring ones conscience is neither safe nor right.

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