Lately, I can’t get enough of the potato and pepper combination. Probably has to do with the Hungarian side of my genetics. Peppers, or the dried version paprika, pairs with potatoes in many different ways.
I knew, today, I wanted to incorporate shrimp into a salad, but there was an extra chill to the wind so it needed to be a warm salad. There’s a long stewed dish in Hungary called Paprikas Krumpli. Literally, it translates as Pepper Potatoes. The potatoes are cooked down with onions, paprika and sausage until the potatoes are almost a purée. I didn’t want to go quite that far, but I loved that bold sweetness of cooked peppers with super soft potatoes, and in today’s case, a bit of spice from hot paprika.
From there, I wanted to counterbalance the sweet/spicy interplay of the potato component with a sweet/tart element in the shrimp. By cooking them in fresh, slightly acidic, tomato and finished with yogurt (or sour cream would’ve harkened back to my Hungarian heritage more, but I was all out in my fridge), the shrimp became a wonderful addition to the deep, rustic potatoes.
As my Summer of Salads get closer to the first day of autumn, you may notice the definition of “salad” is becoming looser and looser. A good warm salad is always welcome in the salad world, but if you just want this as a simple meal for lunch or dinner, that’s okay too. I like it as a salad, but if you added curry powder and a coconut milk drizzle at the end instead of yogurt, it could sneak into a curry definition.
All food is fluid and doesn’t live by boundaries that we attempt to instill upon it. They just are. Delicious. Embrace that and maybe we can learn from that. Just be delicious…I mean…just be you!! Enjoy!!
Rustic Pepper Potato Salad with Honey Tomato Shrimp
For the Rustic Pepper Potato Salad:
4 medium starchy potatoes, cut into rough 3-4 cm (1-1/2 to 2″) chunks
2 tsp cold pressed canola oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
2 green onions, chopped
1 large sweet bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp hot Hungarian paprika
In a medium pot, boil the potatoes in enough water to cover. About 7-9 minutes. Drain and set the potatoes aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion (both regular onion and the white part of the green onion) and bell pepper. Sauté for 4-5 minutes or until softened and just starting to brown. Add the potatoes and push the onions/peppers to one edge of the pan so the potatoes can get a direct heat to them from the bottom of the pan. Sear the ragged, boiled potato chunks for 2-3 minutes or until starting to brown along the edges. Sprinkle with hot paprika and toss with the potatoes, onions and peppers. Add 3-4 Tbsp of water, stir to combine all of it and simmer until most of the liquid absorbs and evaporates (about 5-7 minutes). Divide over two plates and set aside as you prepare the Honey Tomato Shrimp.
For the Honey Tomato Shrimp:
1 tsp cold pressed canola oil
250g/8 oz(1/2 lb) shrimp tails (tail shell removed. I used 31-40 shrimp. The numbers denote how much you’d get in a pound of shrimp. So roughly 15-18 shrimp of this size)
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped. I used golden yellow tomatoes, but any tomatoes will do
2 Tbsp honey (I used a clover/fireweed honey. The fireweed element gives it a natural peppery flavour)
3-4 tsp plain yogurt, to serve
In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the oil and tomatoes. Sauté until the tomatoes start to soften. Add the shrimp and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a simmer and start to reduce the liquid until nearly paste like (about 4-5 minutes). Add the honey and simmer for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring to coat the shrimp in the sweet, tomato-y mixture. Divide the shrimp and sauce over the two plates of Rustic Pepper Potato Salad. Drizzle each with a teaspoon or two of plain yogurt. Garnish with some of the chopped green part of the green onions. Serve immediately. Serves 2.