I had an awesome food weekend. My mother-in-law and her husband came to visit us and it was like being on a food-centric vacation for five days. I love all aspects of the food experience – getting ideas about what to cook, shopping for ingredients, cooking a wonderful meal, sharing it with others – I love it all. My mother-in-law shares this same love.
While she was here, I asked her to help me find some food inspiration and to try out some new recipes. She was happy to be my co-conspirator in this endeavor. We talked about dishes we had made lately, we had endless fun at the grocery store and picking out wine based on how pretty the labels were, and we cooked (and laughed) and cooked some more. Even cleaning the kitchen is more fun when she’s around.
Of the several recipes we made this weekend, these shrimp sandwiches were the biggest success. Everyone devoured them including the kids. The tarragon-caper mayonnaise elevates this simple sandwich to new heights. Despite having several ingredients with strong flavors like onion, capers, celery, tarragon and hot sauce, the mayo spread never overpowers the shrimp. It just enhances the flavors of everything else in the sandwich and lets them all shine through.
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons drained capers, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grated sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Maui)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (or more to taste)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery heart with leaves
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
- 4 soft hamburger buns
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds cooked peeled deveined large shrimp, each cut horizontally in half
- Tomato slices
- Avocado slices
- Butter lettuce leaves
- In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise, capers, grated onion, tarragon, celery seeds, and hot pepper sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add more hot sauce, if desired. Cover and chill mayonnaise mixture until ready to use.
- Lightly butter cut sides of hamburger buns. Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat. Place buns, buttered side down, in hot skillet and cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread mayonnaise on bottom half of each bun. Top with shrimp, tomato, avocado, and lettuce. Cover with top buns and serve.
Mayonnaise can be made 6 hours ahead.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit, August 2007.