Ice-cold shrimp and chilled lump crabmeat need nothing more than a tasty dressing or two to complete a casual springtime meal. And my recipe for Chilled Seafood Salad with Two Dressings keeps it simple and light—two ingredients for an easy dinner.

Gulf shrimp and crabmeat take center stage in this classic salad combination. (All photos credit: George Graham)
Gulf shrimp and crabmeat take center stage in this classic salad combination. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Anytime Roxanne and I visit Biloxi, Mississippi, we make a beeline to our favorite old-school eatery, Mary Mahoney’s. When I say old-school, I mean it with the utmost respect for this historic restaurant that is as relevant today as it was when it opened in 1962.

On Hwy 90 in Biloxi, Mary Mahoney's is a culinary trip back in time.
On Hwy 90 in Biloxi, Mary Mahoney’s is a culinary trip back in time.

Housed in the Old French House circa 1737, I love the feel of this place: the warren of passages, the exposed Creole brick walls, the white-tablecloth attention to detail, and the tuxedoed waiters scurrying to fill glasses of sweet tea. It is a return to a genteel, Southern sensibility; it is a dining aesthetic that has been lost to the hurried pace of our chain-ravaged culinary landscape.

House in the Old French House, the restaurant is an aged beauty.
House in the Old French House, the restaurant is an aged beauty.

And their famous George Salad still delivers. This is not your edgy, chef-driven, artistically plated salade maison of pretentiously small portions. No, this is simplicity on a plate—piled high and reasonably priced. Gulf shrimp and white lump crabmeat are accented by a minimum of garnish. And the two dressings—a spicy rémoulade and a red wine vinaigrette—bring it all together.

When in Biloxi, make a stop at Mary Mahoney’s, and in the meantime, make my version of this salad. It will become a favorite.

Chilled Seafood Salad with Two Dressings
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe by:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Red Wine Vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus more if needed)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Rémoulade
  • 3 cups mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Creole mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Seafood Salad
  • 2 quarts water
  • 4 tablespoons liquid shrimp boil
  • 2 pounds small, raw peeled Gulf shrimp
  • 1 pound jumbo lump, Gulf blue crabmeat
  • 2 cups spring mix lettuce greens
  • 2 cups spinach leaves, stems removed
  • 2 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
  • 1 cup pitted olives
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 1 cup canned baby corn
  • Old Bay seasoning
Instructions
Red Wine Vinaigrette
  1. In a mixing bowl, add the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar. Whisk the mixture while slowly drizzling the olive oil. When the emulsion is complete, add salt and black pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate.

Rémoulade
  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the mayonnaise. Whisk in the mustard, Worcestershire, hot sauce, seasoning blend, paprika, lemon juice, horseradish, and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate.

Seafood Salad
  1. In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil and add the shrimp boil seasoning. Add the raw shrimp and cook until they turn pink and are done, about 5 minutes. Remove and drain. Cover and chill.
  2. Place the crabmeat into a mixing bowl and gently pick through and discard any shell pieces. Cover and chill.
  3. In a large salad bowl, combine the spring mix, spinach, iceberg lettuce, and cherry tomatoes.
  4. On individual chilled plates, place a generous serving of the salad mixture. Mound a 4-ounce serving of lump crabmeat and a pile of boiled shrimp to either side of the salad mixture. Place hard-boiled egg, olives, lemon wedges, and canned baby corn around the salad. Lightly sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning.
  5. Remove the dressings from the refrigerator and pour individual portions in small cups or ramekins.
Notes
This is my recipe for Mary Mahoney’s version, but get creative and feel free to use any fresh Gulf seafood you can find for your version. This dish is all about short prep time and light summer dining, so keep it casual. A crisp, cold Pinot Grigio would pair perfectly with this dish.
A cold glass of white wine is the perfect pairing for this classic seafood salad.
A cold glass of white wine is the perfect pairing for this classic seafood salad.

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