I have to tell ya, I was not too sure about buffalo and shrimp together. Everything on Pinterest these days is either s’mores, Nutella or buffalo-flavored something or other, and as much as this family loves a good buffalo, it’s this kind.
Though we’ll eat buffalo chicken dip without batting an eyelash…shrimp?? Hmmm…
But then I found Half Baked Harvest and her amazing recipe, and just HAD to try it.
Tender shrimp exploding with buffalo flavor and a flavor-packed avocado ranch dressing make these sandwiches a quick and easy g0-to meal grand slam.
Plus, shrimp is the fastest meat to cook for a meal, isn’t it? I try to keep a bag of uncooked shrimp in my freezer for just this kind of meal. This day found me with my sweet man and my oldest daughter home from the farmer’s market with more fresh produce than I knew what to do with and not much time to make lunch for five.
I had made the avocado ranch ahead of time so prep was very minimal. Just wish I had thought ahead to deveining all those slippery little shrimp. Ugh. Grossness.
To make the ranch, dump a diced avocado, 1/2 c. sour cream, 2 tsp. parsley, 2 tsp. dill, 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp. onion powder, 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp. Worcestershire, 1/2 tsp. vinegar, 2 tsp. hot sauce, and a dash of salt and pepper to your food processor or blender and process until combined.
This dressing keeps well for other things, too! I used it the next day on my chicken salad sandwich, and others here used it up on deli meat sandwiches. It’s soooo full of yummy flavor!
Now, on to the sandwich!
First things first, make some buffalo sauce. Easy, peasy. Melt a stick of butter and add in 1/2 c. of Frank’s hot sauce and 1 tsp. seasoned salt. Whisk it all together and let it get warm and yummy.
In my cast iron skillet, I sautéed the thawed, deveined, uncooked shrimp in 1 T. butter until it was pink (about 3 minutes or so), and then added a few tablespoons of the buffalo sauce to coat them, saving the rest of the sauce for the sandwiches.
Next, I toasted my ciabatta rolls in the oven until they were a beautiful toasty brown. I used my toast setting on my stove, but you can also put the roll on the oven rack and broil it for about 2 minutes, but watch those suckers ’cause I’ve burned my share of broiled bread!!
Now, assemble the sandwiches! Spread a big ol’ gob of that avocado ranch dressing on one half of a roll, pile some cheese on that, add some saucy shrimp and drizzle the whole thing with the buffalo sauce.
Some tips after consumption. Bleu cheese is the recommended option to add to all this flavor, but my group wasn’t going for the bleu. It needed some cheesy goodness, though, so I opted for some everyone-friendly mozzarella. It’s what I had on hand, but wouldn’t be my first pick. You choose.
Also, we thought this would be really great with chicken if you don’t have shrimp on hand. Next time, I might try sautéing some chicken tenders in that spicy sauce and recreating the whole thing.
And, if you have some who balk at the green ranch, just sub in regular ol’ ranch. I had to for one of mine who swore he could taste the *dreaded* avocado in the dressing. You can’t, but it is green and scares the non-veggie eaters off.
But, oh my gosh, when you squish the whole thing together and take a bite and your mouth practically explodes with the layers of flavors, you too, may discover what buffalo and shrimp have in common. YUM!!
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