Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shrimp Bruschetta or Just Plain Shrimp Toast?

Hot from the oven, Shrimp Bruschetta or Shrimp Toasts? Either way, they were delish!
When coming up with a new recipe, it is sometimes hard to name it. Many things that I cook, are a fusion of lots of different things we've had over the years, and sometimes depend on what I've got on hand! I keep a well stocked pantry and refrigerator, both necessities when creating good food. I made a new appetizer last night, by twisting up a couple of different recipes, and using what looked good in the grocery store, what I had on hand and what was on sale! Bags of frozen, easy peel shrimp were on sale, so that's where I started. I somehow ended up with lots of Parmesan cheese in my frig, after hitting several different stores over the last few weeks, so that was in too. We love anything on toast, and I wanted something that was easy to eat while playing Bananagrams at the kitchen table, nothing too messy that required forks or dips. Here's what I came up with and my husband says it's a winner! The recipe that inspired this dish called for crab meat, but we all know what that costs, especially in March! Shrimp was a very tasty alternative, and WAY less expensive. You tell me -- Shrimp Bruschetta with Capers and Parmesan or Shrimp Toast? I am leaning toward the Bruschetta! Since we were having friends over to play games and eat dinner, I prepped the appetizer in the afternoon so I only had to assemble and bake it when we were ready to snack and yack. Easy, tasty, inexpensive: all around a winner!

Shrimp Bruschetta with Capers and Parmesan
1/2 lb. shrimp, steamed, peeled and chopped into 1/4" dice
3 heaping Tablespoons light Mayo
1/2 tsp. zested lemon rind
1 T. capers, roughly chopped
Chopped Shrimp
1/2 of a small clove of garlic, grated (use your rasp, like w/the lemon peel)
1/2 of a stick of celery, sliced thinly and then diced up
3 T. shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
16 thinly sliced pieces of a baguette
olive oil
First, prepare your toast: Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Place the thinly sliced (about 1/4") bread on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Drizzle the bread with olive oil, or spray it if you have the olive oil in an aerosol can. Bake it in the oven for 15 minutes, take it out, turn it over and bake for another 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool.
Make the spread for the toast: Chop the shrimp, celery and capers and combine with the lemon peel, mayo and 2 T. of the cheese.

Prepping lemon peel, caper, celery and garlic for bruschetta
Into the bowl, ready for the mayo.

At this point , you can refrigerate the spread and put the toasts aside for later, or even the next day. When you are ready to serve, put the toasts back on a cookie sheet in a single layer, and preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Put about 1 T. of the spread on each toast, pressing it down slightly so that the bread is mostly covered. Sprinkle a little more cheese over the top and bake for about 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the toasts are slightly brown around the edges. Drizzle on a little more olive oil and serve with your favorite drinks! 16 pieces is ample for 4 people and if you have other goodies to serve would easily do for 6!