Whip up a bowl of chilled salad brimming with fresh seafood in a light dressing. You can create a seafood salad with your favorite fish -- cooked or uncooked -- and other ingredients. Keep in mind the USDA's strict guidelines for cooking, storing and eating seafood. Eating seafood -- especially raw seafood -- that is not fresh or has sat out too long in a mayonnaise base can pose a health risk.
Fresh fish and shellfish should not smell fishy; instead, it should smell like a sea breeze. Your fish should look clean and shiny and feel firm, not mushy. Cook the seafood by boiling it for approximately 4 minutes, immediately plunging it into icy water, then draining it, or look for cooked and packaged mixed seafood at your local market. Although fresh, cooked fish makes the best seafood salad, you can also use frozen fish that you've thawed in a cold-water bath and chilled until use. Grill uncooked seafood for extra flavor.
You can use a simple or elaborate preparation for your seafood salad. Like making a basic tuna salad, simply add chopped onion -- or celery -- and lemon juice. Extras, such as jicama, sliced hard-boiled eggs, avocados or watercress, add crunch and nutrients. Include green onions, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes or spinach -- chopped, minced or sauteed -- or add cooked pasta in fun shapes or interesting colors. Seasonings include table salt or your favorite seafood seasoning. Sprinkle in cayenne pepper if you like a spicy salad.
Forget the seafood salads of yesteryear that were often drenched in heavy mayonnaise-laden dressings; instead, keep your seafood salad dressing lemony and light. Use minimal mayonnaise and mix with lemon juice and olive oil, or experiment with ancho chili or garlic-infused flavored oil. Zest lemon rind into the dressing, and don't overwhelm the star of the salad -- the seafood.
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Serve the seafood salad as an appetizer on crackers, celery or wrapped in lettuce leaves. Or present it as a main dish with fresh, crusty French bread and a bottle of white wine. Transform the salad into a sandwich by spreading it on a fresh croissant or on toasted multi-grain bread. Stuff the seafood salad in a fresh, whole tomato to serve as a side dish.
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