2000s Recipes + Menus

Shrimp Butter Toasts

Serves10 (hors d'oeuvre)
  • Active time:35 min
  • Start to finish:7 1/2 hr
April 2007
In the South, you’ll usually find this delicate spread—not a smooth paste, but slightly textured, to play up the flavor of the shrimp—on "benne wafers" (sesame-seed crackers). Spooned onto buttery toast points, it makes for tiny little bites with big sea flavor.

For shrimp butter

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 lb medium shrimp in shell (31 to 35 per lb), peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne

For toast points

  • 10 slices firm white sandwich bread, crusts discarded and each slice cut to form 4 triangles
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Garnish:

    whole cooked shrimp

Make shrimp butter:

  • Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté shrimp with salt and black pepper, stirring, until just cooked through, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp with a slotted spoon to a food processor, reserving skillet (do not clean).
  • Cook onion in 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape onions into processor and cool mixture to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Add lemon juice, cayenne, and remaining 9 tablespoons butter and pulse until shrimp are finely chopped. Pack shrimp butter into a 2-cup ramekin or serving bowl and chill, its surface covered with plastic wrap, at least 6 hours (to allow flavors to develop). Bring to room temperature 45 minutes before serving.

Make toast points:

  • Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Brush 1 side of bread triangles lightly with melted butter and toast, buttered sides up, in a large shallow baking pan until golden around edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve toast points with shrimp butter.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Shrimp butter can be chilled up to 2 days.
  • Toast points can be made 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container.
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