Serious Eats: Recipes

Eat for Eight Bucks: Shrimp Rolls with Homemade Chive Mayo

Photographs by Michele Humes

Shopping List

1/2 pound medium shell-on shrimp: $3.50
2 hot dog buns (pro-rated): $0.79
Bunch celery: $0.99
Bunch chives: $1.49
1 egg (pro-rated): $0.20
1 lemon: $0.35

Pantry items:
Vegetable oil, white wine or cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, butter

Total cost: $7.32

In the days before air-conditioners, New Yorkers would go to considerable lengths to avoid roasting in their tenements. The blog Ephemeral New York lists some of them, from camping out on the fire escape to pitching a tent in Central Park. In August 1938, the temperature hit 93°F:

"More than 3,000 persons slept on the sand at Coney Island and Brighton Beach to escape the heat last night, the police estimated. Ten additional patrolmen were assigned to the area to prevent molestation of the sleepers, many of whom brought blankets and sheets." --The New York Times

As I write this, the mercury is set to creep up to 95. It is, in the words of Cole Porter, too darn hot. Being fortunate enough to own an air-conditioner, I've so far been able to avoid the drastic measures of yesteryear. Still, I do battle with the siesta-monster on a daily basis, and if I had a hideaway in Montauk, I'd be hiding there right now. But I don't, so I just pretend I'm by the sea--and these shrimp rolls do a pretty good job of setting the scene.

In this everyday alternative to the pricier lobster roll, poached shrimp are mixed with just a little diced celery, dressed in a homemade chive mayo, and piled into a butter-seared hot dog bun. (I love the sweetness of a Martin's potato roll.) Serve with a handful of your favorite potato chips--lately, I've been devouring Zapp's Cajun Crawtators, a supremely crackly chip with a wallop of Old Bay--and forget, for just a moment, that infernal heat.

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Shrimp Rolls

You can save a few bucks per pound if you peel and devein your own shrimp. It's a little time-consuming, but certainly not difficult. Deveining beginners may find this this instructional video helpful.

About the author: Michele Humes blogs at Georgia On My Thighs.

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