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Lowcountry Shrimp Canapés

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Ingredients

Shrimp

1 pound (16−24 count) raw, deveined, shelled local shrimp

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Generous dash sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Spread

8 ounces (1 cup) plain cream cheese

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

1 small shallot, finely chopped

½ small fennel bulb, center core removed and very finely chopped into a tiny dice

1 tablespoon reserved fennel fronds, very finely chopped

Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Base

1 baguette French bread

2-3 tablespoons best quality extra virgin olive oil

Generous dash sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons lightly chopped fresh tarragon leaves for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Rinse shrimp, drain, and pat dry. On a roasting sheet, toss shrimp with the olive oil, salt, and pepper to coat. Roast until just opaque, about 6 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. While shrimp are roasting, combine cream cheese, orange juice, lemon zest, shallot, chopped fennel, chopped fennel fronds, and seasoning in a small bowl, blending well with a fork to thoroughly combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  3. Preheat your broiler to high. Cut baguette into ¼-inch-thick slices on a slight angle to form elongated, oval slices. Brush both sides of each slice lightly with olive oil and season both sides lightly with salt and pepper. Broil until golden, about 3 minutes, flip toasts, and repeat. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  4. To compile the canapés, spread each toast with a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture. Slice each shrimp in half horizontally and arrange two shrimp slices on top of cream cheese layer. Arrange canapés on a pretty platter and drizzle with freshly chopped tarragon. Place edible flowers around edges if desired. Serve immediately.
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