Another week has passed and we’re already headed towards mid-July. The days are hotter and oppressive. These are the months when I wonder why I live in Florida. The relentless sun drags on and on, until it’s well into the tomb of the evening and you’ve dug into your couch so long it no longer seems worth the trouble to salvage what is left of the weekend. The guilt of inactivity however, starts hitting you at 8pm when the sun here finally goes completely down. Your trade-off was supposed to be once the sun set and it’s safe to go outside, you go outside. It’s Florida and this is the deal a lot of us make. But I found myself instead, marathon watching some new documentary on Hulu and realizing the most that was accomplished with my day was finishing a book… having some wine…
It’s now 9 in the evening. The idea of taking a walk seems a bit far-fetched. I have broken the agreement.
I can hear the formerly unspent fireworks from the neighborhood across the patch of woods that separates us, and I see them from my lanai. Other people did infact venture out this evening.
I did achieve at least one accomplishment in making these little hors d’Oeuvres for us, eaten at our table in the master bedroom. It took my Breville Mini Smart Oven, a sauté pan and a small mixing bowl. I wanted something that looked like I hadn’t yet given up on the day. What I came up with not only smelled fantastic but tasted even better.
You will need:
- Grated parmesan
- Dried dill
- Fresh basil
- Dried basil (inexpensive and very versatile)
- Minced garlic
- Olive oil
- An egg
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Butter (sticks so you can measure, if it’s easier)
- Shrimp (fresh or frozen)
- A small amount of mayo (see below for why, and choose another condiment if you’d like)
Take your mixing bowl and add in 6 tablespoons of grated parmesan, 1 tablespoon of dried dill (I use a bit more; I love dill and wanted to see it in the finished product – feel free to use more), 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter (melted), salt and pepper (eyeball), 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of flour and one egg. I ended up adding just a bit more flour so, you will check the consistency of the dough to decide if you need more flour or more butter.
Stir everything together until it comes to a dough.
Put some flour on your counter or board and smooth out your dough.
Then roll it between your fingers and palms into what resembles a log so you can cut it into similar sized pieces. This does not need to be perfect as you’re going to press each piece out in a minute.
My dough came out to 16 individual pieces. Use either a non-stick spray or parchment paper and a baking sheet. Line your dough so that nothing touches and cook for 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees. I write 10-12 because it really depends on how crunchy you want these and if you have a convection oven or not. The longer you leave in your oven, the crispier the bottoms will get and if you do not have a convection oven, move the tray around once mid-cook so that they all cook evenly. I have only ever once needed to cook these longer as I added either more butter or more flour (I can’t at this time recall). Just flip one over once cooled and if you can tell they’re not as crisp as you would like, stick them back in.
You will see below what they will look like before going into the oven: you will press down to make large enough flat surfaces for the shrimp and keep a small distance between each disc of dough.
Once they’re done you will see them bubbling. That is just the butter so don’t worry about that. Set them aside and they’ll harden and cool soon enough.
You can see all the flecks of dill in them and the browned edges… Leave them out room temperature and get started on your shrimp.
In truth, this can be topped with anything. I have used turkey kielbasa before, marinated tomatoes with discs of mozzarella… You can make them larger and have smoked salmon and caviar. These can be used any way you wish but, if you’re using shrimp – frozen shrimp – go ahead and put the amount of crisps you have worth of shrimp in a bowl with lukewarm water to defrost.
It won’t take long and it’s okay if they’re still a bit frozen when you go to cook them. If they’re fresh, just make sure they’re also deveined. I always buy frozen peeled and deveined shrimp. And you definitely want to make sure there is no tail. In a sauté pan heat some olive oil and minced garlic, throw in your shrimp and season them with dried dill, dried basil, salt and black pepper.
Flip them over after a few minutes and do the same to the other side. Once pink and fully cooked, set them aside to cool (don’t forget all that flavor in the pan – top your shrimp with the garlic, seasonings and olive oil) or keep them on low if you want these to bring the tuiles up a bit warmer than room temperature (I prefer warm hors d’oeuvres so, I always reheat the tuiles and them top with warm shrimp or, I just top with warm shrimp and that’s fine as well).
Wash and separate the amount of basil leaves you want to top your tuiles with. Put each bit of basil on each tuile and a bit of mayo on the underside of each shrimp which holds them on securely once you gently press down into place. If you would prefer a different condiment that’s perfectly fine.
Pick a platter that allows your tuiles to be placed side by side with plenty of room to grab one easily. They will slide around so, make sure you are prepared to rearrange once you transport them to the table. A few small plates and some napkins… a soft white wine or some tea would be perfect.
The first thing you will taste is the sharp nutty parmesan cheese baked by the dill, and then finally the garlic on the shrimp ending with the tangy mayo and the basil. It is a crunchy, savory satisfying one bite morsel.
In the end, these can be the most productive and delicious part of your day, especially if you’re anything like me and found little ways to get out of keeping that deal you make with the Sunday Gods.
Below you will find the table setting for this dish. Bone china plates are from Lenox. Napkins from Wayfair. Platter from CB2