One of the many facets of being a Featured Publisher on Foodbuzz is the Tastemaker program, one geared to promoting national brand recognition with award winning recipes. When I received my letter from the program along with a coupon for any Pepperidge Farms product, I was asked to enter a recipe and by doing so, have a chance to win a trip to New York City…everyone say it with me …NEW YORK CITY! I immediately knew what I wanted to submit. One that has passed the test of time by family and friends, all who say it’s pretty darned good – as a dip.
Now, the challenge is to turn this into an appetizer using puff pastry. I thought about using the ready-made pastry shells but that would not only be too easy, I also think it would be too much pastry. I wanted the creamy seafood combination to stand on its own with just enough of the flaky pastry to hold it together and provide a foundation. It also needed a crunchy topping to aid in texture making what I hope would be a sinfully delicious pleasure for seafood lovers here on the Gulf Coast and abroad as well. I know it does all that in my house and hopefully it will in yours too. I may not win the trip, but I know this recipe will now become an established finger food for many parties to come. Enjoy!
1 box (17.3 oz) Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup flour
2 cups light cream
Salt and white pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne or to taste
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 pounds small shrimp -cooked, peeled & chopped (or 2 cups frozen salad shrimp, about 14oz)
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked of shells & cartilage (or about 2 cups canned lump white crabmeat, about 16 oz)
1 cup Planko bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place pastry on a floured surface and roll each into a 12x18-inch rectangle or just a tad larger. Cut each sheet using a 3-inch round cutter into 24 circles. Using a mini-muffin pan, press each pastry circle into the cups. Place in the refrigerator to keep cold.
In a saucepan, heat 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the celery, onion and garlic and cook until celery has softened. Reduce heat and stir in the flour cooking for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the cream and bring to a low simmer increasing heat if needed. Add salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. When bubbly, stir in the wine and cook another 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and crabmeat, stir for a minute and remove from heat.
Mix the Planko, parsley, Parmesan, melted butter in a bowl and set aside.
Spoon the seafood mixture into the shells and fill to the top. Cover with the crumb mixture dividing evenly among the seashell cups.
Place in the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or the topping is nice and brown. Remove from pans and serve warm.
Note: These appetizers are also good when baking ahead of time and warmed in a moderate oven prior to serving. Half the recipe if needed, but don’t be surprise when they rapidly disappear.