Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Test Kitchen: Shrimp - Part I

Shrimp is a go-to fast and easy dinner in our house.  Even when you haven’t planned ahead, you can have shrimp from freezer to table in no time at all.  It’s quick to defrost and quick to cook.  It’s versatility allows you to do just about anything with it…shrimp can be roasted, boiled, sautéed, or barbecued.  Put it in a breakfast frittata, in a salad for lunch, or skewer and grill it for dinner.  

I’ve been in test kitchen mode over the last week or so, focusing on coming up with some new shrimp appetizers.  And since it is such a versatile ingredient, I wanted to try to come up with a few ideas that were all very different from each other, both in flavor and presentation. 

Sometimes test kitchens don’t go so well.  Sometimes the dish is just unsalvageable and goes in the garbage. Sometimes it’s edible but something you wouldn’t make again.  But then there are those times when you eat something and you say to your normally very critical self, “genius!”  Then, while patting yourself on the back, you proceed to eat the rest of the dish so quickly that you promptly find yourself on the couch in a food coma with two cats and a dog taking advantage of your placidity by sprawling all over you.  (Not that I know this from experience or anything.) 

It’s those times that make test kitchens completely worth it.

So here is the first of three winners…parts 2 and 3 to follow.

(Disclaimer: These are all still in pretty rough form and I need to make them again so I can write actual measurements and recipes, but I wanted to share to see what everyone thought.)

Shrimp Mousse on Homemade Potato Chips

white wine
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper
heavy cream
lemon juice
potato chips

Prepare gelatin by adding a little white wine to about a teaspoon of powder.

Meanwhile, sauté garlic and shallots in olive oil, then add shrimp, salt, pepper, cayenne and some white wine to deglaze the pan and let reduce. When shrimp are done, put contents of pan in a food processor and puree until smooth.  Add gelatin, lemon juice and chopped chive and incorporate into mixture.

Whip heavy cream into stiff peaks and fold into shrimp puree. 

Refrigerate for a couple hours to allow the mousse to set up.

Pipe onto potato chips and garnish with snipped chives.

Let me just say right off the bat that I wouldn’t make my own potato chips again.  It was a pain and the potatoes didn’t fry uniformly.  Some refused to get crispy, others went too fast and burned.  I might try baking them next time, but I will more likely just buy a bag of really good potato chips.

The mousse was excellent though.  It was fluffy and light, and not the least bit grainy.  The flavors are very delicate, but the shrimp comes through just enough to let you know it’s there.  Pairing it with the salty, crunchy chip works nicely.

Next up: Shrimp Curry Bruschetta


  1. It's a good idea!
    I wait for your Shrimp Curry Bruschetta...

  2. I have started to comment about 3 times and keep getting distracted. YUM!!! I can't wait to see the bruschetta too - am getting VERY VERY hungry right about now. :) You should bring these to the Potluck :)


  3. This is a great finger food for party! Yummm

  4. I would have never thought of shrimp mousse. How creative! Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on my blog. I'm trying to adopt a positive outlook for autumn. My plan, is to gorge myself on summer peaches this week, so I'm ready next week to try some fall produce when they disappear for the year. :) We'll see if it helps. I hope it does because when I visited the farmer's market today, there was only one farmer selling peaches and he didn't have a lot of them.

  5. I'm so thrilled to see shrimp dishes, and not feel that I'm the only one out there that posts ideas and recipes about shrimp. What a fabulous idea with the shrimp mousse, so pretty, and pink! especially on home made potato chips...yummm!

  6. Wow, this is really creative! My fiance doesn't like shrimp, so I always have some on hand in the freezer when I'm cooking for myself!

  7. The mousse sounds great! I've always been curious about making my own chips, I'm sorry to hear you weren't happy with yours.

  8. What a tasty and creative appeitizer. The picture of the shrimp made me drool.

  9. Mmmmm...I love shrimp! Your pictures are making me hungry! :)The mousse on the homemade potato chips sound amazing..can't wait for all the measurements!

  10. Love the concept of the test kitchen; that's fun. I need the recipe for those shrimps; they look so GOOD!

  11. loving the mousse and sorry about the chip, i made sweet potato chips last week and they came out horrible...


  12. I read this last night and then got side tracked and didn't comment. I 100% agree with you regarding having the shrimp in the freezer! It's such a great go to thing to have on hand! I love these! Pefect party fare!

  13. shrimp mousse on homemade potato awesome!! Classy and rustic all at the same time. Ah, to be a fly on that test kitchen wall. No, a tester at that table would be better ;)

  14. I love this idea. Great recipe...they look fantastic!!

  15. Oh my top favourite here...all look mouth-watering...mmm. I can just eat everything there for my lunch or dinner :D

  16. Oh YUM!!! I think I would eat a whole bag of chips that way....

  17. I love shrimp, but sadly no one in my house will eat it other than me:( This recipe sounds so yummy though!

  18. Delicious! Frozen shrimp is one of my go-to ingredients. They are so versatile and pretty healthy.

  19. I have thought a few times about making my own potato chips, but after reading what you have said I think I will just bye them. I have made my own sweet potato fries and I loved them. They have not made my recipe page yet but I did make some amazing salsa not to long ago, check it out and let me know what you think.

  20. They look like great little munchie snacks. Honestly the whole shrimp look great too. Betcha can't eat just one! :P

  21. They look lovely. I can't say 'delicious' 'cause I dont eat shrimp (the boy has very, very severe allergy to them, and I dont want to take any risks).
    I do like your presentation too...the potato chips look so much nicer than boring ol' crackers.

  22. I just saw your pic on the Top 9! Congratulations!!

  23. This mousse is what these crackers needed to become interesting and appetizing. I love shrimps and this mousse looks very sophisticated.

  24. nice work! what a great combo... I've never tried a mousse, myself...always seemed to difficult or something...

  25. The shrimp mousse on the homemade potato chips caught my attention. You are brilliant! YUMMMM. Anything completely homemade and healthy is what I love... or, as healthy as you can get, anyway. Somethings are not super healthy, but everything homemade is much better than anything processed!
    I am in! I would love to sign up and will be getting all of your posts by e-mail... but you don't have that option. I never get to my readers and feeds in a timely fashion. Let me know if you get that plug in installed, and I will be the first to subscribe (I have it... and there are other kinds)

  26. Great blog Karen!!!! I love these potato bites but unfortunately I am allergic to shrimp :( Do you think it would be tasty with tuna?

  27. @ Letizia - Not sure about the tuna. Chicken would definitely be good though.

  28. Karen,
    Indeed the only way to create the perfect original recipe is to test, test, and test again. You are well on your way to perfecting your shrimp dishes.

    Bon appetit!

  29. I am trying to come up with the right I will just go with~ Brilliant :)
    I love shrimp and I see you have a series here, so on my way to the next :)

  30. Dear Karen
    Thank you very much for visiting my blog and I feel good reading your comment. If you want to try that chicken dish , please refer to the original recipe.
    You have an awesome blog site. I liked the writing style and the descriptions. I shall try the shrimp one soon, hope I wd get the ingredients here.
    I am following you
    Have a nice week