This light, versatile appetizer makes an irresistible starter at your dinner table. A few humble ingredients — paper-thin slices of fresh anise-flavored fennel, crisp golden potatoes chips, and sweet boiled shrimp, assembled into exciting layers of interesting favors and different textures. English mustard elevates the dressing to new heights, as the robust spiciness of the condiment enhances and joins together all of the flavors of this dish.
Serve it alongside Adega Algueira Brandan Godello, Ribeira Sacra, Spain 2011, a crisp white wine with sharp flavors that will not overpower the food. This wine is made of Godello grapes (pronounced Go-de-ya) in the region of Ribeira Sacra, where wine making dates back to the Roman times. It’s bio-dynamically produced and oak aging isn’t used in the production process which results in the crispy light texture.
Peel and wash the potatoes thoroughly. To save time peeled potatoes can be stored in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator for several hours. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, slice the potatoes thinly. Drain on a paper towel.
Thinly slice the fennel bulb. If not using immediately, cover with a little bit of ice. Drain before using.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan (or Dutch oven) over medium high heat until the temperature reaches 350° F on a deep frying thermometer.
Cook the potatoes in batches for 1 to 2 minutes on each side until golden and crisp but not burned. Drain on the paper towel. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.
Cut boiled shrimp in half along the spine line.
To make the dressing place mustard, vinegar, mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
To serve, divide the potatoes, fennel and prawns (shrimp) between plates by alternating the layers of sliced fennel, potato chips, shrimp slices, repeat one more time, so it almost looks like a pyramid.
Top it with fennel fronds, chervil or parsley, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with the dressing. Serve immediately.
Potato Crisp, Fennel & Prawn Salad with Spicy Dressing
recipe detailsServes 4
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
- 1 lb. starchy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (3-4 medium sized potatoes)
- Fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 12 cooked tiger prawns (large shrimp, shell off, deveined), peeled, tails intact and halved lengthwise
- Chervil leaves, parsley or fennel fronds to garnish
- ½ tablespoon hot English mustard
- ½ cup whole-egg mayonnaise (I always use Delouis mayonnaise from France, to me the fact that it is sold only in the refrigerated section is the indicator of freshness)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 67; changed to my liking.