For the most part, I’m a massive fan. You put cheese and creamy marinated artichoke hearts on a shiny silver tray with other goodies and a gorgeous full bodied wine, and I’m not going anywhere. Let’s be honest, if you’re avoiding this heat, use a charcuterie tray like this
What a gift it is to “be stuck in doors”!
When I make shrimp I always (now, since my mother introduced me to them) cook the plump juicy ultra pink shrimp from Argentina sold at Trader Joe’s. They are the most lovely and flavorful. I cook them with some minced garlic, smoked sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and basil. Right before serving, I coat them with a bit of grated parmesan and fresh dill.
The cheese will always include one part smoked gouda, and then another part vintage “something”. In this case, it was vintage white Wisconsin cheddar.
Artichoke hearts are quartered and marinated in olive oil, grated parmesan and dried basil. I added some sliced grape tomatoes for more color and texture. Flanking the tray with sliced dill pickles and fresh basil… Ending with some delicious fresh fruit, whatever looks good and is in season.
Here below, I have pictures of the table setting and actual ingredients of the tray I made this past weekend.
You will need:
- Smoked gouda
- Vintage cheese of choice, something sharp in taste
- Fresh fruit (whatever you prefer, looks good and is in season – try dragonfruit!)
- Shrimp (if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, get their Argentinian frozen shrimp)
- Grated parmesan
- Fresh basil
- Dried basil
- Fresh dill
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Pickle spears
- Artichoke hearts (canned, quartered or whole)
- Tomatoes (if you like them)
- Minced garlic
If you decided to get frozen shrimp, go ahead and put the amount you plan to serve in a dish with lukewarm water covering them all and set them aside to defrost.
Meanwhile, in a container (I use a leftover chinese food delivery soup container), throw in a can of (drained) artichoke hearts. If they’re not already quartered, go ahead and do that beforehand. They are quite mild in flavor and take on these following ingredients beautifully. Anyone who has been at any restaurant which provides fresh warm bread with olive oil, basil and parmesan dunking oil ahead of time, will appreciate this part of the tray. It taste just like that without the bread.
First, pour in some olive oil. I use a tablespoon for one can but, use as much as you’d like. Then, some grated parmesan and some dried basil. You’ll want to use at least a tablespoon of each. Put the lid on (if you have one) and shake, shake, shake. If you’re just using a bowl, stir everything up. If you’re using a container, open it and scrape down the sides that have any ingredient residue and make sure it’s only on the artichoke hearts. Then close with the lid again (or if using a bowl, a cover) and leave alone in the fridge.
This is best if done at ahead of time, I usually leave it in the fridge for an hour or at least thirty minutes. About ten minutes or so before serving, I added the sliced grape tomatoes stirred in with the marinade.
Take the cheese out of the fridge to come to room temperature.
Heat your sauté pan with some olive oil and minced garlic (medium heat). Plop your shrimp in the pan, it’s okay if they’re not completely defrosted. Put the salt, pepper and dried basil on the top of each shrimp, leaving them to sauté for a bit. The pan will have quite a bit of liquid after a while, which is a good thing. They will steam as they cook keeping them plump and juicy.Now flip them and season the other side. Right before they are done, you will see them bright pink and the liquid in the pan mostly gone. At this point, top them with grated parmesan. Let the parm mix with the pan’s seasonings of garlic and basil… Scoop all of the shrimp with the seasonings from the pan into whatever vessel you plan to serve them in, and top them with chopped fresh dill.
Throw your marinated artichoke heart and tomato salad mix into another vessel and top them with some fresh basil. I also used some fresh basil to decorate the platter.
Put your cheese out at this time too.
Cut into your fruit if it needs it, and place the fruit on the other side of the tray, surrounding with some pickles.
We only needed to use our china salad plates for this meal.
In the end, this was a very flavorful and filling tray of simple ingredients and plump juicy shrimp. The wine we had was Apothic Dark, Red Blend, California 2015.
Below you will also find the table setting for this meal: Wine glasses are Riedel and Sur la Table. The china dishes are Royal Worcester. The silverware is Napoleon Bee. The tablecloth and napkins are from Bed, Bath & Beyond. The napkin rings are Pier 1. The crystal is Waterford. The silver is heirloom.