Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shrimp and Fontina Mini Fillo Shells

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This year I decided to post a recipe with a picture of my crab stuffed mushrooms on the back of our holiday cards.  As usual, they were late.  This is why my cards never say "Merry Christmas."  Always "Happy Holidays."  This recipe was the second ever posted back in March.  It's amazing how much has happened since I started blogging just 9 months ago.  My neighbors on my circle usually send over some holiday treats around Christmas time, and this year I sent some of the mushrooms along with the shrimp and fontina mini fillo shells.

Gianna says I've already posted this recipe.  But no, this is entirely different from that post.  This has fontina cheese and chives in it instead of feta and spinach!  This picture is also a lot prettier!
Athens Mini Fillo Shells are available at Kroger Marketplace in the frozen section by the fruit.  A box of 15 costs around $2 with your Kroger card.  This recipe makes enough for 2 boxes, or 30 shells.
Fontina cheese is a semi soft cheese that you can buy in block form by the brie and feta cheeses.  It melts really well, and is so creamy and flavorful!  I grate it with a big box grater.
As long as the shrimp is precooked, you can just mix all the ingredients, throw them in the oven, and enjoy them as soon as the cheese is melted.  Buy wild American shrimp when you can.  My husband recommends it.  So does John Besh in his inspiring book My Family Table.  My week is not complete if I do not get to Barnes and Noble at least once to have a Caramel Latte with 3 or 4 cookbooks to get lost in.  I was recently really moved by John Besh's account of the impact of the BP rig exploding in the Gulf.  He grew up there in New Orleans fishing and shrimping all around those things.  Then suddenly the waters were so polluted.  He says the shrimp are all safe to eat now.  Based on his passion and sincerity about serving good food, I believe him.

I buy wild American shrimp from The Fresh Market.  Kroger is also getting better about carrying them.  Just check the back of the bag along the bottom.  It will tell you where it's from.

Ingredients:
  • about 3/4 cup of cooked shrimp (I am not a precise kind of person)
  • 1 cup of shredded fontina cheese
  • fresh chives - as much as you'd like
  • garlic powder
  • olive oil or flavored dipping oil (we like Mediterranean blends that have things like garlic, oregano, sun dried tomatoes, etc.)
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Chop the peeled, deveined, cooked shrimp into little pieces.  You want to have 2 or 3 pieces in each little shell.
  3. Add the cheese.
  4. Snip some chives over the mixture in a bowl.  You want enough to add color to each bite. 
  5. Season it with some garlic powder.
  6. Add about 2 teaspoons of the flavored oil, and mix.
  7. Drop spoonfuls into the shells to fill them up.
  8. Cook for 10 minutes in the oven or until the cheese is melted.
Another alternative is to use canned crab meat.  As I made the crab stuffed mushrooms, I wanted to share with my husband what he's been missing all these years due to his dislike of mushrooms.  So I placed the crab mixture into a few shells and served them to him.  I do believe he fell head over Ferragamos for them.  He said, "Make them like this from now on!"  He has no idea how much mushroom lovers just love mushrooms.

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