The recent issue of Holiday Entertaining by Cook’s Illustrated has a recipe for potted shrimp. I compared it to the one I’ve had for years and used frequently over the holidays. I prefer the recipe below as the whipped cream cheese gives it a light consistency. With its origins in England, Potted Shrimp is classic holiday fare. I love it because it is a make-ahead recipe and a nice alternative to classic shrimp cocktail.
The Cook’s Illustrated recipe uses just butter. Make sure to use a good quality sherry like Lastau Los Arcos; even Dry Sack will do. Serve with homemade crostini or thin crisp crackers (see below).
Makes 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup finely diced shallots
1 bay leaf
6 Tbsp. butter at room temperature
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 Tbsp. dry sherry
4 ounces whipped cream cheese ( about 1/2 a cup)
2 Tbsp. minced chives (you can substitute scallions but use just the green parts thinly sliced)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Heat 1 Tbsp. of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bay leaf and the shrimp, season with some salt and pepper and cook until shrimp are nice and pink. Add the sherry and boil until the liquid is almost evaporated. Cool mixture and remove bay leaf.
Transfer shrimp to a cutting board and chop finely. Whip the remaining butter and cream cheese together. Add the shrimp, herbs and lemon juice and mix until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve with crostini or thin, crisp crackers like Finn Crisps.