aka: I-10 Salad...
...so called by my husband because I would always make this when we would drive along Interstate 10 between San Antonio and Baton Rouge to visit my family. It travels well in an ice chest and is very filling. You can cut the recipe in half if you want to make a smaller amount, but since it gets better with age, I recommend fixing the whole thing. You can also double it for a pot luck dinner or party when you're feeding a crowd. Hope you like it as much as we do!
2 cups cooked rice of your choice*
1 link of Butterball Turkey Sausage, or sausage of your choice
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped white onion OR green onions
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 cup frozen salad shrimp, thawed**
6-10 grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup bacon bits***
*I have used white, brown and even Jasmine rice in this salad. I've also cheated and used Uncle Ben's Ready Rice. The roasted chicken flavor is awesome in this dish. Adds another dimension!
**You may also substitute canned shrimp.
***I've gotten lazy in my old age and buy the packets of bacon bits, but if you're energetic, and want to fry up some bacon and crumble it, by all means, go for it!
1 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing OR mayo
1 pkg ranch dressing mix (such as Hidden Valley)
2 Tbs. milk
1 teas. dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic salt
1/8-1/4 teas cayenne pepper****
Salt & pepper to taste (if using garlic salt, go easy on the salt)
****Or you can leave out the cayenne all together. If you are adding it, I would taste it as you add each little bit. It's all a matter of how spicy you like your food.
1)Slice and cook the sausage in a skillet until slightly charred. I like to use a cast-iron because it gives that nice crispy almost-grilled flavor, but any ole skillet will do.
2) In a large bowl, combine rice, sausage, celery, bell pepper, onion and shrimp.
3) In a small bowl, combine the Miracle Whip, ranch dressing mix, and spices. Stir until blended. Pour over the rice/sausage mix.
4) You can eat it now, but it's better to chill for an hour or so. Just before serving, top each serving with some tomatoes and bacon bits.
Now doesn't this just look delish?
Here's what you need
Frying up that sausage. Some of it's getting those
yummy charred spots already.
All the salad ingredients mingling together in their happy place.
Okay, so I forgot to take a picture of the dressing in its little bowl, but her it is dumped on top of the salad.
All mixed together. Yeah, the bowl is messy, but who's gonna know?
If you look closely, I added some tomatoes and bacon bits in there. Then I added more on the serving because. . .well, because I can :-)