Saturday, June 28, 2014

Shrimp Paste (Gluten Free)

Having left a certain number of seafood dishes as yet unmade in the Northeast section, I moved on to the South. I selected Shrimp Paste because it looked easy.  Bob wasn't terribly happy about it, but he went along. At times like this, I usually buy him some kind of pate. At the last minute, when I was serving the appetizer, I forgot what I had done with the pate. Luckily, I was able to whisk it out of a shopping bag and set it on a plate in time for any potential hurt feelings to be assuaged.
Shrimp Paste is easy. Buy cooked shrimp, readily available in the supermarkets, run it through the food processor, mix it with  soft butter (soft is key), onion juice, (I used minced onion, not knowing how to procure onion juice,) ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, etc, mold into a loaf pan and chill.
Verdict? It's kind of bland. There was a good deal left on plates, although Alex, the eight year old, ate his without complaining. The cook could jazz this up with liberal applications of Tabasco sauce, horseradish or possibly shrimp cocktail sauce instead of ketchup. If you want to use shrimp cocktail sauce, add it slowly and taste the result to make sure things don't get too spicy. However, if you are serving people who A. eat shellfish, but B. have timid little palates, this might be just the thing.

Shrimp Paste

2 pounds shrimp, cooked, shelled and deveined
6 tablespoons softened butter
3/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon onion juice, or one tablespoon minced onion
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Juice of one lemon
salt to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste

1. Put shrimp through a meat grinder twice, using the finest blade. Modern translation. Run it through the food processor twice.
2. Cream the butter using a fork, add shrimp and the remaining ingredients except lettuce and mayonnaise. Blend with a wooden spoon until mixture is the consistency of mayonnaise. Mold with hands into a loaf and press into a six-cup loaf pan. Refrigerate six hours. Unmold and slice in one-quarter inch slices. Serve on lettue with mayonnaise. Makes six to eight servings.

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