Melba’s American Comfort Recipe: Mo’Bay Shrimp Rolls

Melba Wilson is the owner of a growing culinary empire based in New York’s famed Harlem neighborhood. Her renowned restaurant, Melba’s, is a hot spot for celebrities, locals and tourists from around the world who crave unbeatable American comfort food. She began her career at Sylvia’s Restaurant, where she launched the popular Sunday Gospel Brunch, and has received numerous accolades and awards for her entrepreneurship and her original and family recipes. She won on an episode of the Food Network’s Throwdown with Bobby Flay, was featured on The View, and appears regularly on television, most recently on CNBC’s reality show, Consumed. She lives in New York with her son.

Mo'Bay-Shrimp-Roll-(Melba's-American-Comfort)_400This is like a lobster roll made with shrimp. Since lobster is basically from New England and shrimp are from the South—mainly around the Sea Islands of South Carolina—I decided to put my personal spin on an all-American favorite. From Melba’s American Comfort.

Makes 6 Servings

1 ½ pounds cooked and peeled large shrimp, cut up (about 4 cups)
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 tablespoon peeled and finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon finely chopped red bell pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ lemon or lime
6 New England style (top-slit) or hot dog buns*
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 head of butter lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed, dried, and torn into pieces


*For hot dog buns, I prefer Martin’s potato buns

Melba’s American Comfort

Melba’s American Comfort

by Melba Wilson

  • Get Melba’s American Comfort
  • Get Melba’s American Comfort
  • Get Melba’s American Comfort
  • Get Melba’s American Comfort
  • Get Melba’s American Comfort

In a large bowl, combine the shrimp and mayonnaise, stirring gently to coat all the shrimp. Add the red onion, celery, bell pepper, tarragon, parsley, chives, Old Bay Seasoning, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Squeeze the lemon or lime juice over the mixture and stir again. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the buns.

If using top-slit buns, open them up but leave them connected at the bottom. If the buns are not slit, slice them almost but not all the way through. Set a
skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the insides of the buns with melted butter and put them buttered-side-down in the pan to brown (be careful not to burn them).

To serve, make a bed of lettuce in the bottom of each bun and mound the shrimp mixture on top.

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