This is my favorite picture. I don’t remember what we were laughing about but it must’ve been good. Eve snapped the photo at our brunch engagement party, which our friends hosted at her and Kit’s new apartment. There was a ton of food, including biscuits and quiche (recipes from my blog!!), and Katie’s famous strawberry salad. Kit made brisket because now I’ve been to Austin and know that I really, really love brisket.
I also love this photo because in a sense it’s now old. Dated. Those two lovely people you see on the left are now getting married! And Eve, photographer extraordinaire, and Kit, our brisket champion, are engaged, too! Another friend also got engaged this spring. I am so happy I have friends along for this ride.
So much good. So much happiness.
Shrimp Dannys were also on the brunch menu, of course. You haven’t heard of them? Kit brought these puff-pastry-wrapped shrimp to a brunch at our place once, and Danny liked them so much they were named after him. We now want them at every party ever.
And what’s a party without balloons? With us at this party were a ton of balloons hanging around the kitchen and living room with a photo of Danny and me tied at the end of each string. It was a floating tour of our relationship. You could walk through the highlights of the past three and a half years. Such a sweet surprise.
That feeling I had in Vegas welled up in me again, my heart swollen: I think I’m in love with our friends.
Kit brought these puff-pastry shrimp bites to a brunch at our house and they were gone in minutes. Danny liked them so much we started calling them Shrimp Dannys and now want them served at every party ever. There are never enough of them to go around; we always want more! Thanks for the recipe, Kit.
Also, T.J. says he coined the name for these and this is how it went down:
Some party attendee: These are delicious! What do you call them?
Kit: Shrimp Dandies.
T.J.: More like Shrimp Dannys! powerful high-five to Danny
Drew: (squealing) Shrimp Daaaaaaannnnnyyysssss!! fist pump
1 pound fresh shrimp (medium, 36-40, or large, 31 to 35)
1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek (ground fresh Thai chili paste)
1 package frozen puff pastry dough (approximately 2 sheets of dough)
1/2 pound cream cheese, softened
1/4 pound (8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
2 garlic cloves, minced
fresh parsley, minced
fresh dill, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
The night before you plan to serve the shrimp, place frozen puff pastry dough in refrigerator to thaw.
Peel shrimp down to tail, leaving end portion of tail intact for presentation. Butterfly, devein, and clean the shrimp. Keep shrimp over ice while peeling and cleaning to maintain safe temperature of shrimp. Mix peeled shrimp with 1 tablespoon of Sambal in mixing bowl; cover and place in fridge.
Mix softened cream cheese and butter in a bowl to make Boursin-style cheese spread. Add minced garlic, dill, parsley and dried herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Place cheese spread in fridge to firm up.
Stuff individual butterflied shrimps with the herb cheese spread. Spread shrimp out and place back into fridge to firm up again.
On a clean flat surface, spread out a handful of flour. Take 1 sheet of puff pastry from fridge and cut into 1/4 pieces width wise. Roll out 1 section with rolling pin while maintaining the rectangle shape. Cut long 1/2 inch strips of dough. Wrap each individual shrimp from head to tail of shrimp with strips of puff pastry dough the way you would fold up a croissant. One 1/2-inch strip of dough wraps one whole shrimp. Don’t be afraid to stretch pastry dough a bit.
Arrange prepared shrimp on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.