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Serve up shrimp, salad as Labor Day sides

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 8:36 am

Burgers. Dogs. Steaks. Maybe some sausages. We know you’ve got the grilling part of your Labor Day cookout covered. So rather than mess with that, we’ll offer up some delicious sides that will complement whatever else you have on the menu.

Start with the salad. In place of the classic potato salad, we created a squash-and-apple look-alike.

The inspiration for this was the Waldorf salad, which dresses a mix of chopped apples, celery and walnuts with a mayonnaise dressing. We kept all of that, but lightened the dressing with yogurt and added squash and plenty of fresh herbs.

Next up, round out your meal with some seafood. We grill up some curried shrimp kebabs and serve them over a salad that is one part guacamole, one part fruit salad. The combination of chopped watermelon and avocado is surprisingly refreshing and delicious. It’s a fine side, or even a lighter main.

CURRIED SHRIMP KEBABS WITH WATERMELON-AVOCADO SALAD

Start to finish: 11/2 hours (30 minutes active)

Servings: 4

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons curry powder

16 ounces large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

3 cups diced watermelon

2 avocados, pitted and diced

4 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons lime juice

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

20 ounces cocktail tomatoes

Torn fresh basil leaves, to serve

Pecorino cheese, to serve

In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar and curry powder. Add shrimp and stir to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Just before you’re ready to grill shrimp, assemble salad. In medium bowl, gently combine watermelon, avocados, scallions and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat grill to medium-high. Use oil-soaked paper towel held with tongs to coat grates with oil.

Thread shrimp onto skewers, adding cocktail tomato every few shrimp. Grill 3-4 minutes, turning once or twice for even browning. Serve shrimp and tomatoes over watermelon and avocado salad. Top with torn basil leaves and crumbled pecorino.

Nutrition information per serving: 400 calories; 190 calories from fat (48 percent of total calories); 22 g fat (3.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 175 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrate; 11 g fiber; 15 g sugar; 28 g protein; 370 mg sodium.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND APPLE WALDORF SALAD

Start to finish: 25 minutes

Servings: 6

1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup light mayonnaise

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

3 tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Jazz, cored and chopped

3 ribs celery, chopped

1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add squash and boil 5-7 minutes, or until just tender. Be careful not to overcook. Drain immediately and spread on rimmed baking sheet to cool completely.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, chives and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir in apples, celery, walnuts and cooled squash.

Nutrition information per serving: 180 calories; 80 calories from fat (44 percent of total calories); 8 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrate; 5 g fiber; 12 g sugar; 4 g protein; 180 mg sodium.