Monday, June 8, 2015

Smokey Tea Poached Shrimp Salad

Appetizers are one of my favorite foods.  I'll admit it, I get bored easily, so having several smaller items to nosh on makes me a happy nibbler.  

When friends get together, I'm often asked to bring the appetizers.  It's a risky assignment because as much as I like making them, I'm notoriously late to events.  You really shouldn't be late when you have the FIRST course, right?  
Now that I think about it, maybe that's why they tell me to bring the appetizers - so I'll try harder to get there on time.  Hmmmm, what smart friends I have.

You can't go wrong with little crispy wonton pots of tea-poached shrimp salad.  It's just a fact.  It's a party-pleaser, and isn't that always a great feeling?

I have poached shrimp in wine for Drunken Grapes with Wine Poached Shrimp Appetizers. And I've poached shrimp in Jasmine Tea for Summer Rolls, so fresh and light.  

This time, I chose one of my favorite teas for infusion, smoking and for poaching foods: Lapsang Souchong.  The leaves of this tea are traditionally smoke-dried over a wood fire.  The tea leaves smell like campfire wood, which translates into a rustic, smokey flavor for shrimp, salmon or chicken.

This is the shrimp salad I use for little Tea Sandwiches, or a scoop on a bed of peppery arugula for luncheon, or these appetizers in Won Ton cups, cucumber cups or as a cracker spread.  
It's very versatile and warning...very addictive. You can make this one day ahead, store air-tight in the refrigerator and the flavors will be even better. 

Of course, you can also use the shrimp you have on hand from leftover grilling - hello, perfect way to create another leftover extend-over meal. :D

RECIPE: Smokey Tea Poached Shrimp Salad - showfoodchef

1lb. Shrimp (uncooked, in shell)
2 cups brewed Lapsang Souchong tea
6 oz. cream cheese (room temp)
6 Tbls. Mayo
3 Tbls. chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbls. minced green onion
1 Tbls. minced white onion
1/2 Cup finely chopped celery
1 Tbls. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sugar (optional)
pinch salt/pepper

1) In a large skillet, poach shrimp in tea at 180f (just under a boil, just slight simmer around edges) for 6 minutes.  Drain, then chill shrimp.
2) Mix all other ingredients together well, in a bowl.
3) Peel and chop the shrimp, then add to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Season. Refrigerate to keep.