Shrimp salad croissants remind me of St. Augustine; old St. Augustine, the oldest continuously settled town in America. Why shrimp salad croissants? Well. A long, long time ago I can still remember when we drove to Jacksonville, Florida where Manservant had accepted his first real job, after completing his masters degree. It was 1981 which also was the year we got married. I remember the choices of jobs were slim at the time and it was either Jacksonville or International Falls, Minnesota. Not really much of a choice, huh? (With all due respect to International Falls. They did offer him a snowmobile as part of the deal!)
So we found ourselves leaving Fort Collins with all of our belongings including our beloved Honey dog. (She used to chase the alligators at the apartment complex where we lived). We arrived in Jacksonville and I remember the first smell that greeted us was the aroma of paper mills. Not a nice aroma, I dare say. Jacksonville was a new experience for us. Manservant grew up in Texas and so he was a bit used to Southern ways, but for me it was like being a fish out of water.
Well, we lasted about two years in Jacksonville and actually it turned out to be a pretty good place, Except for maybe the humidity, the bugs and the sweet tea! I never could get used to sweet tea! We quickly found a beautiful, new apartment where there was no smell of mildew and not a palmetto bug in sight. (Alright, in case you don’t know a palmetto bug is a polite way of saying cockroach.) Our new apartment was sprayed monthly by the management which made me feel so cockroach free. Until it didn’t. That was about the point when I started bugging (BUGGING!) Manservant to look for a new job. Avoiding palmetto bugs became an obsession with me. I was afraid to open cabinets, especially at night, for fear of what I might find. These guys fly! And they fly at you!
But back to shrimp. Shrimp salad. On flaky croissants. Not far from Jacksonville was the quaint little town of St. Augustine. We quickly discovered the back road to get there and on weekends it was often our quick getaway! I always felt as if I were on a mini vacation, even if we had just spent a few hours walking the narrow cobblestone streets lined with tsotchke shops. (Tsotchke – a Yiddish word meaning trinkets or items of little value.) We discovered a little French cafe that served these shrimp salad croissants and I don’t think we ever tried another restaurant.
Driving back, I think it was on Old Route 1, passing the alligator farm on the way, made me realize I wasn’t in Colorado anymore. Yes, we did stop one time and if you’ve never been to an alligator farm it is a unique experience. There is even one in Colorado that we’ve toured. I also remember passing roadside stands with folks selling Vidalia onions from Georgia! I guess this was before they became popular!
So it is when I’m by myself, I often find my mind wandering. I found myself thinking of the beach and how long it has been since I’ve seen one. I found myself thinking of where I’ve been and where I’ve come from and well, one thought led to another until I found myself wanting a shrimp salad croissant. I didn’t want a turkey sandwich. I didn’t want shrimp salad stuffed in a tomato or an avocado. I wanted the soft, salty taste of shrimp salad with little bits of crunchy celery, stuffed into the confines of a giant flaky croissant. Trust me. This is the way to eat shrimp salad. I didn’t want frou frou shrimp salad. I wanted to eat this with potato chips. I wanted to drink an icy beer. And I wanted to remember how far we’ve come from St. Augustine, Florida. It’s been a journey!
Shrimp salad croissants would be perfect for Mother’s Day. They are easy to make and always seem a bit special. After all it isn’t every day, I eat a croissant. And it isn’t every day I find myself having shrimp for lunch. Tuna, yes. Shrimp, no. These are perfect for a picnic basket. I would take the shrimp salad in a container and just quickly make them up at your favorite destination!
Shrimp Salad Croissants
Time to Make – About 15 minutes
1/4 c mayonnaise
1 t Dijon mustard
1/4 c finely chopped green onion
1/4 c chopped celery
1 chopped hard boiled egg (optional)
2 T minced Italian parsley
2 t fresh dill, minced
1 T lemon juice
1 1/2 t Old Bay seasoning
1 T drained capers
8 oz salad shrimp (if frozen, make sure they are well drained)
2 -4 croissants (depends on how packed you want these)
Mixed Greens or Arugula
Combine mayonnaise and all other ingredients except shrimp, and mix well. Gently fold in shrimp. I love this at room temperature but you can chill it for a few days if necessary. Slice croissants and put shrimp salad directly on half of croissant. Top with some greens and other half of croissant.