Serves10 (hors d'oeuvre)
- Active time:35 min
- Start to finish:7 1/2 hr
In the South, youll usually find this delicate spreadnot a smooth paste, but slightly textured, to play up the flavor of the shrimpon "benne wafers" (sesame-seed crackers). Spooned onto buttery toast points, it makes for tiny little bites with big sea flavor.
For shrimp butter
sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
medium shrimp in shell (31 to 35 per lb), peeled and deveined
fresh lemon juice
For toast points
slices firm white sandwich bread, crusts discarded and each slice cut to form 4 triangles
unsalted butter, melted
whole cooked shrimp
Make shrimp butter:
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté shrimp with salt and black pepper, stirring, until just cooked through, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp with a slotted spoon to a food processor, reserving skillet (do not clean).
Cook onion in 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape onions into processor and cool mixture to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Add lemon juice, cayenne, and remaining 9 tablespoons butter and pulse until shrimp are finely chopped. Pack shrimp butter into a 2-cup ramekin or serving bowl and chill, its surface covered with plastic wrap, at least 6 hours (to allow flavors to develop). Bring to room temperature 45 minutes before serving.
Make toast points:
Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 400°F.
Brush 1 side of bread triangles lightly with melted butter and toast, buttered sides up, in a large shallow baking pan until golden around edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve toast points with shrimp butter.
- Shrimp butter can be chilled up to 2 days.
- Toast points can be made 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container.