Shrimp Butter


This recipe was another request. My sister-in-law, DD, compiles a great cookbook every so often that’s comprised of recipes contributed by family and friends. She’s working on the third edition and wanted me to contribute my recipe for Shrimp Butter. The premise of her book is that all of the recipes are very easy, tried and true favorites. This is one of those recipes that I use for easy entertaining. It makes an extravagant yet extremely simple appetizer. When I make it, I always make extra and freeze some to have ready and waiting for the next time I entertain.

I first saw a recipe for Shrimp Butter in a cookbook by the late, great Edna Lewis. Edna Lewis was a wonderful Southern cook. She produced a number of cookbooks on Southern cooking. I can, with confidence, recommend all of her books.

Ms. Lewis, if I remember correctly, suggested serving Shrimp Butter on bread or crackers. I always like to present it with fresh vegetables such as endive leaves, red bell pepper strips, fennel, radishes, or celery in addition to crackers and baguette slices. My favorite crackers to serve with Shrimp Butter are seaweed flavored rice crackers if you can find them.

Shrimp Butter

Makes 1 3/4 cups butter

1/2 pound shrimp, raw, peeled, and de-veined
6 ounces butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
a healthy dash of cayenne pepper

Sauté the shrimp gently in 1 tablespoon of the butter until just cooked through. Reserve.

In a cup or other small container add the salt to the sherry and stir to dissolve the salt. Add the lemon zest.

Place the remaining butter in a food processor with the sherry mixture and the dash of cayenne. Process the mixture until smooth. Add the cooked shrimp, and either pulse to obtain a textured result or puree until smooth, your choice.

Serve with bread, crackers, and/or vegetables of your choice.

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