It is my birthday and I thought I would get creative and please myself. I was looking on-line for Moroccan dishes to add to my feast. I was scanning more for idea, rather than recipes. This combination for the salad just sort of clicked into place as I was reading.
Karl’s Moroccan Orange and Spinach Salad with Ras el Hanout Shrimp
¼ cup orange juice
3 Tbs. olive oil, separate uses
1 Tbs. mint leaves, chiffonade
1 clove garlic, cracked
⅛ tsp. black pepper
⅛ tsp. paprika
pinch Kosher salt
1-2 large shrimp (21-25) per person
½ Tbs. Ras el Hanout
2 navel oranges, peeled, halved and sliced
3-4 cups baby spinach, loose packed
1. Mix the orange juice, 2 Tbs. olive oil, mint, garlic, pepper, paprika, and salt in a small jar and set aside to meld for at least half an hour.
2. Cut the shrimp shell along the back and devein them.
Tip: Do not remove the shells. Searing the shrimp with the shells on only improves their flavor by gives you a better char, but also protects them from over cooking and drying out.
3. Dust the shrimp liberally with the spice mix and set aside.
4. Put the orange slices and spinach in a large bowl and toss with the dressing.
Tip: Fish out the cracked garlic, unless you really like raw garlic.
5. Just before serving, put the remaining tablespoon of oil into a heavy pan and heat it, over high heat, until shimmering.
Tip: I prefer to use a cast iron skillet for this.
6. Put the shrimp in the pan, in a single loose layer, and sear for one minute.
Tip: Do not crowd the pan or the shrimp will steam, rather than sear.
7. Flip the shrimp over and continue cooking for 30 seconds.
8. Remove the shrimp from the pan to a plate to cool slightly.
9. Transfer the salad to individual plates, arraigning the orange slices decoratively.
10. Set one or two shrimp on top and serve immediately.
Tip: Serving the shrimp “shell on” makes them slightly harder to eat, but the improvement in flavor is worth the effort.