Monday, August 15, 2011

Shrimp Toast

Okay, so I cheated a little bit here. The August Charcutepalooza Challenge was to make emulsified, bound and molded charcuterie. In the end, mine was emulsified and bound, but not molded. But hey, it was delicious and the kind of not-too-demanding project that I could handle this month.

Each month the Charcutepalooza Challenge includes two levels -- one for the Apprentice and one for the Charcutiere. Every month up until now, I've taken on the Charcutiere challenge. Why not this month? Two words: head cheese. Call me a wuss, but I was just not up for using a pig head (or pig's toes) to make a terrine. I had planned to sit this month out but then gave the challenges a second look late last week and saw that another option would be to make a seafood mousseline. I loved the idea of spending my Friday making a salmon terrine, and even had the right Emile Henry crockery for the job. But who was going to eat this lovely dish since we were heading out of town for the weekend? Michael Ruhlman offered a solution -- instead of molding my seafood mousseline, I could spread it on bread and fry it. Shrimp toast!

I used Ruhlman's basic instructions for Easy Shrimp Toast and consulted various other sources, including this recipe of Emeril's, to concoct mine. 

Shrimp Toast

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger (divided)
  • 5-7 slices of Pepperidge Farm thin-sliced white bread
  • 8 ounces of shrimp, peeled, deveined and well-chilled
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream, well-chilled
  • 4-6 cups vegetable or peanut oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  1. Whisk together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and one teaspoon of the grated ginger. Set the dipping sauce aside.
  2. Cut each of the slices of white bread diagonally to make 4 triangles from each.
  3. Put the shrimp, egg and salt in the food processor. Add the green onions, garlic and remaining teaspoon of ginger. Pulse a few times to combine.
  4. Switch the food processor on and add the cream to the shrimp mixture in a slow stream.
  5. Refrigerate the mousseline while you heat the oil in a wok or other deep saucepan to 350 degrees.
  6. Spread each of the bread triangles with a scant tablespoon of the mousseline, spreading it evenly to the edges of the bread. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and press them gently so they will stick.
  7. Drop 3-4 triangles, mousseline side down into the oil, and fry for about one minute. Then, flip each over and fry for about another 30 seconds.
  8. Remove to paper towels to drain. Keep warm while you fry the remaining toasts.
  9. Serve with the dipping sauce.
Yield: 20-28 toasts Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes

Yum! Crunchy, salty, savory mouth-watering goodness. Fortunately, shellfish-allergic child was at cross-country practice so we did not have to deny him this crispy little delicacy.

I first had shrimp toast in the mid-eighties at Bangkok Cuisine, a Thai restaurant in New Orleans, where I dined regularly. These days, I don't often see shrimp toast on the menus of Thai restaurants so this was an overdue indulgence. When it's my turn to host our International dinner club this fall, I may have to choose Thai as my cuisine just so that I can make these again.

This post is linked up over at Food Trip Friday.


CookTheStory said...

I *adore* shrimp toast. It's a staple appy at every Chinese restaurant in the UK and I order them every time we're there. I've tried making them but they've never been very good. Can't wait to try your recipe!

On another note, I make headcheese every year for Easter. We use pork hocks. It doesn't get molded though. It's the bones and meat simmered for ages with lots of garlic. Then the meat goes in cake pans topped by the rich broth. Chill until the broth sets, slice, serve. Yum!

Lynn said...

I guess I need to break down and try someone else's headcheese before making my own. I am somewhat intrigued... This month's challenge is make pate -- I am all over that! Just waiting until after my cholesterol test at the end of the month.