SMOKY SHRIMP PASTA SALAD WITH CHIPOTLE-HONEY VINAIGRETTE
Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 25 mins
FOR THE CHIPOTLE-HONEY VINAIGRETTE:
5 tablespoons vinegar
3 chipotles in adobo
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
FOR THE SMOKY SHRIMP PASTA SALAD:
1 pound swirly pasta (such as Trottole)
6 strips bacon
1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
30 large shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled and deveined
8 ounces mini sweet bell peppers, sliced into rings
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cubed
4 ounces mozzarella pearls
1/2 haas avocado
1 handful chopped cilantro and/or microgreens
In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette ingredients. Process until well-combined and set aside.
Cook the pasta to al dente, according to the package directions. As the pasta cooks, place the bacon in a large skillet (you may have to do this in batches), and heat over medium-how heat. Cook until the bacon is crisp, then transfer to a paper towel lined plate, Repeat until all of the bacon is cooked. Drain off all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.
In a large bowl, combine the blackening spices (smoked paprika through cayenne pepper), and mix well. Toss the shrimp in the spice mixture.
Heat the skillet with the 2 tablespoons of bacon grease over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in the shrimp in batches. Avoid crowding the skillet.
Cook the shrimp for 2 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes or until the shrimp is opaque. Set the shrimp aside with the bacon and repeat until all of the shrimp has been cooked.
Add the bell pepper rings into the hot skillet and saute, stirring constantly, until the peppers have softened, about 1 minute. Transfer the pepper rings to a large salad bowl.
Crumble the bacon and add it, the cooked shrimp and the cheeses to the salad bowl. Pour the warm pasta and half of the vinaigrette over top and toss, allowing the cheese to melt slightly.
Remove the skin and pit from an avocado half and use a vegetable peeler to create ribbons out of the avocado flesh. Roll them up in loose, cone-like shapes. Add the avocado ribbons, cilantro, and microgreens to the bowl. Top with the remaining vinaigrette and toss gently to combine.