Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Lemon Caper Shrimp Crostini

I find sometimes small simple meals tend to be the most satisfying. I find myself cooking for only Jack, my 6 year old and I more often than not. Jack unlike me, is unfortunately not a very adventurous eater (he's getting there though), so on these nights I am happy to have little dinners which are simple, but still yield great results. The shrimp crostini is one of them.

The great thing about Shrimp Crostini is it does not require much planning, I usually keep a French Baguette around and Shrimp are always in my freezer; frozen in 1 lb. bags ready to be pulled out and quickly defrost as needed. Basically I toast some bread, make a buerre blanc, add shrimp and maybe grill some asparagus- perfect for a simple weeknight meal.

The size of the shrimp you use doesn't really matter, I like 25/30's for this dish, but any size will work. Maybe I should explain that- Shrimp are graded by size, the numbers mean the number of shrimp per pound. The larger the number the smaller the shrimp; for example jumbo shrimp will be about 10/15 per pound while small shrimp will be 70/90 shrimp per pound. When buying shrimp at the market, be sure they look translucent, if they are head-on they (the heads) should be clear and well attached to the body (not beginning to separate from the body), they should smell like salt water- in other words not very shrimpy! (that rule applies to all seafood). Obviously the larger the shrimp, the pricier they become, there are some recipes where size matters, this is not one of them so buy what best fits your budget, or better yet- what looks best at the market. One last note about shrimp- unless you are purchasing shrimp at a dock, chances are they have been frozen- and that's ok. Fresh Shrimp of course are a treat, but shrimp do not lose much in taste or quality by having been frozen, so don't let that deter you from buying them.

Making the crostini: Slice a French Baguette into 1/2" thick rounds and lay on a baking sheet. Brush a little melted butter on bread and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. (If you really like garlic you can also add some to the butter). At the restaurant, I grill them since the grill is so easily accessible.

The shrimp crostini make for a great entree, starter or hors de ouvre at your next party. I have also tossed the sauce and shrimp with angel hair pasta for a litle bit heavier dinner. The sauce will make you want to lick your fingers!

Lemon Caper Shrimp

1/2 cup butter ( 1 stick)
1/4 cup capers
3 cloves crushed and finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp
Coarse sal de mer to taste

1. In a large saute pan melt half the butter over medium heat, add shrimp, garlic, black pepper, paprika and Thyme; cook until the shrimp turn light pink. Add lemon juice, white wine and capers and bring to a boil. Add cream, remove from heat then slowly stir in butter until it melts. Add salt to taste.

2. Serve Shrimp over Crostini drizzling with a generous amount of sauce. The recipe will serve four as a starter or two as a main dish. I sometimes garnish with Caper berries like I did here.


  1. The crostini look delicious!
    I absolutely love bread, so having it as part of the meal is perfect!

  2. That's my kind of meal when I am alone.That and a glass of wine and a chick movie! Looks perfect!

  3. Hi Katia

    Just wanted to tell you that I made this dish for Valentines Day and it was amazing! Thank you so much for the recipe, it is one we will be enjoying again and again!

  4. I'm making this for dinner tonight. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!

  5. My stomach just growled reading this. I cannot wait to try it...Now if I could only find a great french baguette like back home in LA -and shrimp, too, for that matter! I live in rural Oklahoma now. Groan.

  6. This is the recipe that caught my eye on your blog a while back... This recipe is to die for! A must try for sure!


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