Puff Pastry with Shrimp and Mushrooms and a Side of Cannellini Beans

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Puff Pastry with Shrimp and Mushrooms

During college I served manhattans and gimlets to a rather older crowd, always working in station number 4. I loved my regular customers who tipped very well, considering they lingered a bit to listen to the organist who was also planted in my station. The tea room was lucky enough to employ some old school staff from a high-end hotel, and we served classics like fried oysters and seafood in puff pastry, followed by rum raisin ice cream or creme de menthe parfaits. I appreciated those days, when as a college girl waitress, I ate like a queen.

As I was preparing this dish, cutting the puff pastry into large circles and stacking one (with a center cut out) on top of another to create a puff pastry bowl, I thought about the tea room and my appreciation for taking the time to make a food event special.

Described in Le Cordon at Home, the book used to make this dish “Boucheés are literally, mouthfuls of puff pastry filled with meat or fish in a creamy sauce.”

Well how delightful is that, or should I say delicious. I served these with a side of white beans, seasoned with fresh garlic, lemon, black lava salt, and chile pepper. Mr. ST and I both agreed that when the beans made their way into the dish, the flavors together were just right. It was French with just a little bit of Italian.

This dish takes less than 30 minutes, if you have the puff pastry made ahead of time, but count on a lot longer for cleaning up, because you use a lot of pans. I was beating daylight and needed pictures so I was flying through the kitchen, making in just in time to plate and shoot. The challenge at this time was not to pick up the shrimp and eat with my fingers. By the time the shoot was finished, I had eaten at least 4 shrimp. As I was snacking away, I thought wouldn’t this make the best amuse-bouche, using a tiny puff pastry and one shrimp, the perfect one-bite hors d’oeuvre. Bookmark this for your next dinner party.

Puff Pastry
To be perfectly honest, in order to get this dinner finished in under an hour and have sunlight left for a picture, I cut a corner and I use Trader Joe’s artisan puff pastry. This was still a bit of a challenge for me. The recipe asked for a 4” cookie cutter to cut out each tart. Who makes cookies that huge? I got out the tape measure, and realized once again, I was not prepared. At the last second, I thought of mini-torte pans which are exactly 4” in diameter and fluted. I made four of them, (for two servings), and for two of them cut holes with a 3” diameter cookie cutter, and then, using an egg wash, stacking one on top of the other. And, this was my shortcut. If you were to see the directions to make puff pastry, you might get scared off. Just remember to work with it very cold (even if you are using store bought).

The noise you hear is a chorus of all pastry chefs rolling their eyes. But I am quite proud of my first puff pastry, even if I did get a little help.

Shrimp Filling
I found it fascinating that the recipe called for cooked shrimp, stating that most shrimp sold in France is pre-cooked. Of course, not reading ahead with any concentration, I purchased fresh wild shrimp, and boiled them in salted water for about 4 minutes. But, you could buy pre-cooked shrimp to save time.

The mushrooms get a very fine chop and if you like cream of mushroom soup (who doesn’t) you will love this sauce.

The recipe calls for cognac, and I used amaretto, which was still sitting out from making this chocolate torte yesterday. I remembered that my favorite restaurant serves a seafood dish with a chile amaretto cream sauce that is absolutely delicious and expensive. I wanted to see if I could use this recipe to get me closer to that dish. That would be happiness. The taste test proved that a little discipline gets its reward.

Cannellini Beans with Lemon and Garlic

Ingredients

  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • splash of olive oil
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • black lava salt (or any sea salt or kosher salt)
  • freshly ground black pepper (although white pepper might be better)
  • dash chile pepper (or dash chile powder or similar hot sauce to taste)
  • 3 leaves basil chiffonade (rolled up, sliced into ribbons)

Instructions

  1. Put everything in sauce pan, except basil. Heat. Garnish with chiffonade of basil. Don’t forget to taste along the way and season appropriately. (meaning when YOU like it)

Notes:
• The cannellini beans, also known as white kidney beans, are my addition to this dish. I have them served on the side, but they would be equally good cooked and then mixed into the seafood filling.
• Hawaiian Lava salt is a black mineral salt and is excellent on white beans. I use a mortar and pestle to break it down.
• The beans are wonderful left over, sprinkled with a bit of sheep’s milk feta, pita crackers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Puff Pastry with Shrimp and Mushrooms and a Side of Cannellini Beans

Recipe for shrimp in puff pastry (adapted from Le Cordon Bleu at Home)
Course: Entree
Cuisine: French
Servings: 2
Author: Angela Roberts

Ingredients

  • puff pastry made into bouchées
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cold milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • salt pepper
  • 5 ounces mushrooms chopped finely
  • 3/4 pounds cooked shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto
  • pinch of paprika
  • chervil or parsley for garnish
  • hot sauce chile powder or whatever you prefer to add heat to dish (optional)
  • Have puff pastry ready to go. Keep warm.

Instructions

  • Large Saucepan - Cook Shrimp
  • • Peel, devein, rinse
  • • Bring salted water to boil.
  • • Add shrimp, cook approx. 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.
  • Medium Saucepan
  • • Put butter in saucepan. Heat.
  • • Add flour, take off heat, whisk, don’t brown.
  • • Add milk until thickened.
  • • Add cream, boil 1 minute. Keep warm over pot of simmering water.
  • Medium Saute Pan
  • • Sauté mushrooms in butter.
  • • Add Shrimp.
  • • Add amaretto or cognac. Flambé.
  • • Once flame goes out, add cream sauce.
  • Pour into puff pastry. Serve Immediately with side of white beans, green salad dressed with olive oil and lemon.
  • Medium Saute Pan
  • • Sauté mushrooms in butter.
  • • Add Shrimp.
  • • Add amaretto or cognac. Flambé.
  • • Once flame goes out, add cream sauce.
  • Pour into puff pastry. Serve Immediately with side of white beans, green salad dressed with olive oil and lemon.

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