Shrimp and Goat Cheese Crostini
Dinner parties are always a ton of fun. You get to see friends, get together over dinner and drinks and catch up with what is going on in everyone's busy lives. But when hosting, one of the stresses is always the same old question.... "What should I make this time?". It's always nice to have an appetizer of some sort ready for shortly after the guests arrive in order to stall a bit and allow time to get the dinner ready, and this one is not only delicious, and looks great, but it's really pretty easy to make.
With some good prep, these Shrimp and Goat Cheese Crostini can be made in under 10 minutes. As always, I recommend buying good quality ingredients. Whenever I'm making anything with bread, I go to the local bakery and grab a baguette that is usually still a little warm, and it's always great to support small businesses. When it comes to the balsamic glaze, you can always make your own but there are some really great ones that can be purchased, which is what I did this time around.
In most cases, the kitchen is where everyone seems to congregate before dinner, so why not put on a bit of a show for your guests! When cooking the shrimp, when they are at the cusp of being done, pour a bit of bourbon in the pan, then present a flame near it to flambe the shrimp! It looks super cool and adds a nice taste to the shrimp. *Only perform flambe if you feel comfortable doing so. Your dinner party could take a turn for the worst if you lose your eyebrows....
When assembling, lay the crostini on a serving platter, spread the goat cheese, then lay a shrimp on top (butterflying the shrimp is an option here as well). Top with some arugula and finish with the balsamic glaze. Serve it up to your guests and get ready for the compliments!
1 white baguette
Goat cheese (I used herbed, but you can select any of the many varieties available)
Shrimp - 1 per crostini (You can use raw or cooked but remember that the pre-cooked ones will take much less time to cook!)
1-2 cups arugula
Balsamic glaze (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
1. Pre-heat oven to 375F
2. Slice baguette on a slight angle, making slices approximately 1/2 inch in size. Lay on a baking sheet.
3. Mix approximately 2 tbsp of Olive Oil with a pinch of salt and pepper, and some dried thyme (to taste). Brush the oil mixture over the baguette pieces, then put them in the oven for 8-10 minutes (just until they start to get golden)
4. While the bread is cooking, preheat frying pan over medium high heat. Add approximately 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and when the pan is hot, place shrimp in the pan. Cook until pink in color and opaque. (This is where you want to flambe if you've decided to go that route). Remove from heat.
5. Remove bread from oven and place on serving platter. Spread a thin layer of goat cheese to cover the crostini, and top with 1 shrimp per crostini.
6. Drizzle some olive oil, pinch of salt and peper on the arugula and mix to coat. Top crostini with a pinch of arugula.
7. Finish by drizzling some balsamic glaze over the assembled crostini, and serve.