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Another Fancy Toast - Shrimp Scampi Appetizer

Many people have a Friday ritual - it’s the end of a work week, everyone’s tired - let’s just get a pizza. Years ago, my husband and I had a similar ritual: Bertucci’s for wine and appetizers. My favorite, which they no longer offer, was the shrimp scampi on toast. This was well before the “fancy toast” trend that started 10 years ago or so, and it was a perfect appetizer to share with a good glass of wine. Or two.

I’ve been wanted to recreate it for some time now, and i was really happy with the way it turned out.

This scampi is a bit creamier that what you’d find dressing a plate of pasta - it needs to be to hold up on the toast and not be a soggy mess.

You can hollow out a baguette and do this, but that’s a lot of bread per bite. I chose some toasted sourdough and loved it. Plus, sourdough has that sour bite that I love.

This would also be great as small one-bite appetizer on a small crostini.


INGREDIENTS

1 large Italian baguette, or 4 slices your favorite bread

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 6 tablespoons

6 cloves finely chopped garlic, divided

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

1 pinch red chili pepper flakes

1⁄2 cup dry white wine*

1 lb small shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes

3 tablespoons chopped basil


METHOD

Preheat oven to broil. Hollow out the inside of the baguette using a serrated knife to cut a wedge out from the top, and scoop out some of the bread. Place baguette on a baking sheet. Or, toast 4 pieces of your favorite bread and place them on the sheet.

In a small saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon chopped garlic over medium heat.

Use a brush to coat the top and inside of the bread with the butter and garlic mixture.

Sprinkle 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese over bread and broil until toasted, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.

In a large skillet, melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter over medium heat.

Stir in remaining garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add a pinch of chili flakes and the white wine and bring to a boil.

* It may seem wasteful to cook with a good wine, but the end product will reflect that choice. The recipe only calls for a half cup, so choose one you’d like to enjoy sipping while you eat this dish. Try a crisp, medium-bodied sauvignon blanc or sancerre, like the Les Franches Sauvignon Blanc by Jolivet. Stir in shrimp and cream cheese and cook until cream cheese is melted and shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour into the bread.

Garnish with chopped basil and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.



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