Shrimp Scampi Dip

What’s not to love about this? Shrimp in a creamy dip – a delicious and filling appetizer that will make your guests feel like they’re eating gold. OK, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but they will definitely perk up when they’ve heard you made a shrimp scampi dip and you give them some nice toasts or crusty bread to dip with.

I will warn you that this is super filling. We had a little bit leftover that I have now sitting in the freezer. I’m looking for the perfect opportunity to defrost this and repurpose it for an amazing pasta sauce.

I actually came across this recipe on Facebook. I saw it as a Food Network video. (Here’s the link to the recipe.) I thought that the directions were specific enough that I mostly copied and pasted them here with a couple of adjustments.


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

  • 4 tablespoons plain dried breadcrumbs

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter

  • 1 pound large peeled and deveined shrimp, tails discarded, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • Slices of crusty bread and/or crackers, for serving

Beat the cream cheese, mozzarella, sour cream, mayonnaise, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs and 1/2 teaspoon salt until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to add the shrimp.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shrimp, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes, and cook until the shrimp start to turn pink. Add the wine, bring to a simmer and cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. (there will be some liquid left in the skillet). Remove the skillet from the heat, and let the shrimp cool completely.

Meanwhile, mix together the parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon melted butter, the lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.

If you want more of this crust, I would suggest doubling the ingredients for this part. In fact, I think it would be delicious with some of it mixed right into the dip.

Once the shrimp has cooled, stir the shrimp and its liquid and cream cheese mixtures together to combine; transfer to a baking dish. (The dip and breadcrumb mixture can be covered and refrigerated overnight separately at this point. This is actually what I did until guests were starting to arrive.)

Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the dip, and bake until hot and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Switch the oven to broil, and cook until the top is golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes, then serve hot with bread and/or crackers.

I chose to serve this with ritz crackers and garlic melba toasts. Don’t be afraid when you scoop it; it will be a bit more watery than you expect, especially when it’s still hot. I hope you and your guests enjoy this hot and yummy dip!

Sincerely,

Fu’d

Guilt-Free Alfredo Sauce with a Cauliflower Base

I had somewhat recently joined a Facebook group that was created for people who live in the same town to share photos of their home cooked meals. First off, this group is absolutely amazing – the things that people cook and all the encouragement is a breath of fresh air. There’s been a recent onslaught of people making chicken broccoli alfredo. So, of course, I started to crave it like crazy!

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Here’s a version that I adapted for the pressure cooker from a Pinterest recipe. (Here’s the link to the recipe.) If you don’t want to use a pressure cooker, feel free to follow the original recipe as is, but be sure to read on for a few tips and suggestions! I also tried to make my own pasta shells…that was a disaster. Luckily I was smart enough to pick up some backup shells at the store.

Here’s what I used for the sauce:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup of milk (I used almond milk)
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Your choice of cheese (optional) – I used shelf-stable parmesan and a shredded pizza blend

You can supposedly pair this sauce with a number of dishes, but I made stuffed shells with chicken and broccoli. So, here is the rest of what I used:

  • 1 box of shells, cooked and drained
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 1 large chicken breast (You may want a little more if you want to try something unique with the sauce. Read on to learn more!)
  • More cheese for topping
  • Breadcrumbs to sprinkle on top (optional)

Cut the cauliflower head into medium sized pieces (doesn’t need to be perfect) and put it in the pressure cooker. Mince or use a garlic press and put all the garlic in with the cauliflower. Add one cup of vegetable broth and season with salt and pepper.

I chose to cube the chicken breast, seasoned with salt and pepper, and put into a little tin foil boat. I put this on top of the cauliflower in the pressure cooker. If you chose to use some additional chicken for the unique twist on the sauce, add a handful of the chicken cubes in with the cauliflower, but outside of the foil. (You will end up incorporating that extra chicken right into the sauce.)

I set the pressure cooker to the poultry setting for only 5 minutes and then used the quick release when done. This was enough time to cook the chicken and soften the cauliflower.

Add the 1/2 cup of milk.

Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a regular blender or food processor), blend everything together. If you added the extra chicken into the sauce, this means you are blending chicken right into it. This may seem odd, but I accidentally did this the first time and I loved it. It gave the sauce flavor some depth and it also help give the sauce a little thicker in consistency!

I decided to put in some cheese and about 1 cup of small cut broccoli so they would fit in the shells for baking. (I left larger chunks of broccoli for addition to the baking dish after the shells were stuffed.) Go ahead and dump the cooked chicken cubes in there, too.

Mix together well.

I chose to microwave the remainder of the broccoli with a little water but feel free to pre-cook it any way you like.

Spread a thing layer of sauce at the bottom of the baking dish.

Stuff the shells with the sauce, chicken, broccoli mixture and place shells in the dish. I placed the microwaved broccoli around the shells.

I topped the dish with the rest of the sauce some more cheese, and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs.

I baked at 375 degrees Farenheit, covered with tin foil for about 15 minutes.

I then baked for another 15 minutes uncovered. I broiled at the end for a few minutes to get the golden brown color on top.

Lastly, serve and enjoy! Leftovers are delicious, too. I had this for lunch two days this week AND I was able to freeze some for when I get the craving later on 😉.

Again, I chose shells, but feel free to eat this with any type of pasta or give it a try over some vegetables, on a white pizza, with rice, etc.

Sincerely,
Fu’d