The holidays are here! The holidays are here! THE HOLIDAYS ARE HERE! Like the year before, 2021 has been a blur. It’s hard to believe the new year is almost here. There’s just not enough time to plan!
I scramble to design holiday meal menus sometimes. Then I rush to cook it. I know, it’s a whole thing. But this is why hacks exist, right? You guys know that I love Gorton’s frozen seafood and I will say their products are perfect for delicious shortcuts. They’re the best ingredient for a quick appetizer to buy time to finish cooking because – let’s be real – cooking time always runs over.
What is a canapé?
I love serving canapés because they’re fancy but easy. Canapé is French for “small appetizer served on bread.” They’re served during cocktail hour so they’re salty/savory (cough, so you can drink more). Canapés are very decorative by layering a carb base, some sort of creamy spread, the main item, and a garnish on top.
For this starter, I use rye bread for that earthy flavor. Any bread will work though. Use a round cookie cutter to cut the bread into cute little circles. Mini pancakes, crackers, puff pastry, or any sort of carbs will work too!
Creaminess is important
Cream cheese reigns supreme. I made a cucumber dill cream cheese spread that goes on these starters. You can make the cream cheese the night before and leave it in the fridge until you need to use it. Just remember to take it out about 20-30 minutes before you need to use it. If you’re really rushing, you can buy whipped cream cheese and use that as-is. Some of them come flavored and that will pair perfectly.
That main item – shrimp!
I use Gorton’s beer battered shrimp because they have a lighter, crisper texture. The key is the beer. Beer is carbonated which makes it more acidic. The acidity stops gluten from forming to create a lighter batter. The shrimp is the perfect size for a single bite. Top it off with a bit of finishing salt if you want.
Garnish on top
Any fresh herb will be amazing on these starters. I cheated a bit and topped it off with both dill and chives. Keep it simple and put whatever herbs you have from cooking the rest of your holiday meal. You only need a few!
Crispy Shrimp Canapés
- 1 package (9 oz) Gorton's Beer Batter Shrimp
- 12 rounds of dark rye bread
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 large cucumber (grated and juice squeezed out - should yield 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Dill, for garnish
- Chives, for garnish
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 425F.
- Step 2 Arrange frozen shrimp on a tray in a single layer and bake for 16-20 minutes. Flip halfway.
- Step 3 In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, grated cucumber, sour cream, white wine vinegar, dill, salt and pepper.
- Step 4 Spread cucumber dill cream cheese onto a round of rye bread. Top with shrimp and fresh herb.