With the weather being so hot in the summertime, I often try to serve light menu items when entertaining. One of my all-time favorite go-to recipes is Charleston Shrimp Paste Sandwiches. I've tweaked this recipe over the years to make it my own. It's ideal to serve for an afternoon get-together or evening cocktail (provided you can keep the kids out of the kitchen, of course!). It's also great paired with a lovely soup for an afternoon luncheon. Charleston is so fortunate to have an abundance of local shrimp and vine-ripened tomatoes, and I find that this recipe highlights those Lowcountry ingredients perfectly!
1 pound medium-sized local shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
juice of half lemon
1 bunch of fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon of pureed or finely diced onion
1/4 teaspoon of tabasco sauce
1/4 cup of Hellman’s (or your favorite) mayonnaise
1 baguette or a loaf of your favorite bread
1 fresh tomato or cucumber, diced
1. To prepare the shrimp, peel, dehead, and devein them and place in boiling water for 1 to 4 minutes until they turn pink. To test, cut one open; it should be pink all the way through. If it is transparent, it needs further cooking but be careful not to overcook (they become mushy), so test one shrimp early!
2. Add shrimp and next six ingredients to a food processor, and process until the mixture forms a paste. Don't overmix; a little texture and tiny pieces make it good!
3. Spread mixture on toasted baguettes, or serve as a tea sandwich on your favorite soft bread. Top with diced cucumbers and/or tomatoes!
Photography by Andrew Cebulka