Inspiration #5: The Art of the Chopped Salad

cucumbers, lettuce, tomatos, potatos, eggs, olives

Chopped Salad
by madame b

When I  started this blog (about a month ago), one of the many recipes I was going to stir up in my pot, at least once a week was soup .  Then I was thinking every other week because the family would say   “soup again”  but I thought it would be fun for all to look forward to a once a week ritual…a reason to stay tuned in.  I”ve cooked a lot of things recently due to inclement weather on the East Coast, but I haven’t made another soup  soooo…, I was thinking I always throw together a large salad …,maybe forget the soup and go for the salad…, a new salad once a week.  I can call it Salad of the Week.  What do you think?  I could even add in some good salad dressings recipes.

Anyway, the one thing I love about large salads is that they are super resourceful. You can use anything in the fridge. A can of beans hanging out on a pantry shelf could always act as a nice accompaniment. Hard boiled eggs, a couple of boiled potatoes, those olives that need to be used…, the list is endless.

I made a salad the other night.  I loved, loved, loved arranging the perfectly chopped vegetables and placing them on a large board. Put the greens here, the purples there, the red down there, oh here comes Mr. Egg, and don’t forget the roasted butternut squash from the other night.

The board is becoming a great canvas for my chopping.  I think I have created this week’s salad masterpiece.

What’s Stirring in my Pot? Curried Shrimp with Coconut Milk

Curried Shrimp and Coconut Milk

photo: madame b. what’s stirring in my pot? Curried Shrimp with Coconut Milk

Curried Shrimp with Coconut Milk is a family favorite and so easy to make for such an impressive dish.  What makes this dish so unique  is Chayote (christophine) Squash which has its roots in Mexico. You can find these in the tropical fruit and vegetable section at the grocer. The colors of the vegetable and the smell of the curry make this dish the ultimate sensory experience. This recipe is from the Food Network  Enjoy!


  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 lbs.  large raw shrimp (I used extra-large tiger prawn)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • tsp. pepper
  • tbsp. madras curry powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or puree
  • 3 inch piece of ginger, grated 2 tablespoon
  • 1 red pepper, cut into Julienne
  • 1 chayote squash, diced
  • 1-13 oz. coconut milk. (I use the light version)
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 1.2 bunch cilantro, leaves only
  • Juice of 1/2 lime, freshly squeezed


  1. Heat large skillet over medium heat,then add 1 tbsp. butter
  2. When foam subsides, add shrimp and cook until just pink. Remove from pan and reserve.
  3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. When it melts, add the onions until softened. Sprinkle 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, curry powder, garlic and ginger over the onions, reduce heat to low, and cook gently about 5 minutes until softened and translucent.
  4. Add red pepper and chayote and cook 5 minutes.
  5. Add about 2/3 of the coconut milk and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes to bring flavor together.
  6. Add Shrimp back to the skillet along with the scallions, cilantro leaves and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning adding more pepper if necessary, adding more coconut milk for a soupier consistency.
  7. Serve over rice.  I prefer Jasmine.