Kitchen Talk: Kelly English

By Published: May 16, 2019 4:00 AM CT

Kelly English likes shrimp and likes summer tomatoes. I remember the old days at Restaurant Iris when I’d have to wait for the tomatoes to come in to get the amberjack with café harissa that was a favorite dish. He’d only use tomatoes when they were in season, and we’re just a few weeks away from harvesting local ones.

For today’s Kitchen Talk, English combines shrimp, tomatoes and avocados for a quick dish that could be an appetizer or a main dish, depending on how much you serve.

He shows us how to make it two ways: homestyle and restaurant style. Plain or pricey. Or, as he pointed out later, The Second Line or Restaurant Iris.

Whether you slice the tomato and make a Napoleon or dice it and put it in a bowl, you’ll eat every summery bite of this easy dish.

We started with poached shrimp. To poach yours, bring them to a gentle simmer in seasoned water and cook just until done, about 3-5 minutes. Don’t plunge them in ice water to stop the cooking, because you’re washing away the flavor. Just refrigerate until cool.


Shrimp, Tomato and Avocado Salad



1 pound poached shrimp, peeled and deveined

¼ large avocado, peeled and sliced or diced

½ large tomato, diced or sliced

Salt and pepper for tomato

Green onion, sliced

Fresh tarragon sprigs


½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup Creole mustard

Juice of ½ lemon


2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons sambal oelek

1 teaspoon fish sauce

6 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Stir together dressing ingredients and toss with shrimp; set aside. Prepare vinaigrette and set aside.

To make a Napoleon, slice three thick slices of tomato and season with salt and pepper. Place one on plate and top with 4-5 shrimp, then another slice of tomato and another 4-5 shrimp. Add third slice of tomato, fan avocado across the top and sprinkle green onion and tarragon sprigs on top. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

For a home-style dish, dice a big tomato, put in serving bowl and season with salt and pepper. Put shrimp on top, add avocado, green onion and tarragon, then drizzle with vinaigrette. This makes 2 meals or 4-6 appetizer portions.

Source: Kelly English


Kitchen Talk Kelly English Shrimp Tomato and Avocado Salad
Jennifer Biggs

Jennifer Biggs

Jennifer Biggs is a native Memphian and veteran food writer and journalist who covers all things food, dining and spirits related for The Daily Memphian.

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