Creamy Shrimp Crostini
September 12, 2020 by Nicole Collins
Some foods are worth making a mess for.
Today’s recipe is one of those foods.
You know what I’m talking about. There are just some bites in this world that are totally worth being covered from fingers to face in some kind of mess.
Usually the culprit is a sauce of some sort. Sometimes, it’s chocolate related. Regardless, even the most cleanliness loving person will sacrifice everything they believe in to enjoy the full experience of eating something messy.
As a Maryland girl, steamed crabs fall at the tippity top of that list. Crabs are not necessarily a “face covered in goop” kind of experience. But, it’s your hands that get covered in seafood seasoning and crab shells and the little bits of crab meat that want to stay with your fingers. When you’re eating steamed crabs, it’s inevitable to have an itch somewhere. So by the time you’re finished, you have crab seasoning in your hair, on your legs, down your shirt…places that crab seasoning doesn’t belong.
And, it’s worth every last crumb.
For many people, they can relate this same type of experience with eating chicken wings. But now, that is an activity that is not for me. Too much mess for not enough reward.
To each their own!
Today’s recipe is a “crumbs on your fingers, sauce dripping down your face” kind of experience. At least it was for me. But, I also devoured this like a mad woman because it was so stinkin’ delicious. So, that could’ve been a factor in the mess that I became.
We’ll never know!
But, we do know what we’re making today. Today, we’re making Creamy Shrimp Crostini!
First of all, OMG. And I mean O.M.G.
Second of all, think of this recipe as a shrimp alfredo and garlic bread situation without the pasta. That’s the best way to describe it. Why no pasta? Cause we’re counting carbs…obvi. (Note: we’re definitely NOT counting calories here…just so we’re clear.)
Let’s talk bread. We’re going to use a loaf of ciabatta bread for our crostini. I like the light, airiness of ciabatta. But I also like that it can stand up to some sauce. Slice the loaf into about ¾ inch slices, brush on some garlicky butter, then pop them in the oven to become golden and crisp on the outside while still having a little bit of chew on the inside. Mmm! If you can’t find a whole loaf of ciabatta, you could also use ciabatta rolls that have been sliced in half and cut on the diagonal. That will work perfectly too!
Our saucy shrimp starts with some shrimp sautéed in butter and seasoned with plain old salt and pepper. Cook them until they’re just cooked through, then transfer them to a plate while you work on the sauce. We’ll add some garlic, heavy cream, cream cheese, and freshly shredded parmesan cheese to build our sauce, then let it bubble away while it becomes thick and creamy. Add the shrimp back to the pan to start swimming in the sauce along with a little fresh parsley, and our creamy shrimp is ready for its garlic bread buddy!
As a side note, the sauce may feel a little thin at first. But, it thickens just enough to be the perfect texture to stay on our bread while still giving us some drip factor as we stuff our faces.
Once we top our garlicky bread with this saucy shrimp, we just may have the world’s most perfect bite. The shrimp are juicy. The bread is crunchy. The sauce has soooooo much flavor for coming from only a handful of ingredients. This is truly comfort food at it’s finest.
I served these crostinis as a meal with a salad on the side, but you could absolutely serve them as appetizers. Or, if you want to stretch these a little, you could even serve them on smaller rounds of toasted bread/baguette to make these a one bite party treat.
However you choose to enjoy these, make sure you’re in the presence of people who won’t judge you for schmearing your face with this incredible cream sauce. Just sayin’. It’s gonna happen…
That’s all I’ve got for today. I’m going to go find myself something extra messy to eat now.
Enjoy, and let’s eat!
Creamy Shrimp Crostini
Serves: 6 Print
For the Crostini:
1 loaf (about 12 oz) ciabatta bread, sliced to ¾ inch slices
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp garlic powder
scant ½ tsp salt
For the Creamy Shrimp:
2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 ½ lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined (thawed, if frozen)
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup heavy cream
¾ cup milk (I used 1%)
3 oz cream cheese (I used low fat)
¾ cup freshly shredded parmesan
2 tbsp parsley, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
Make the Crostini: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange ciabatta slices on a large baking sheet. In a small mixing bowl, mix melted butter, 1 tbsp garlic powder, and ½ tsp salt until well combined. Brush butter mix on the top side of each bread slice, making sure to stir the butter often to pick up any garlic that may have settled at the bottom of the bowl. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the bread is toasted and lightly golden. Set aside.
Meanwhile, make the Creamy Shrimp: Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add shrimp, ¾ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Toss to combine. Saute until shrimp are opaque and fully cooked through, about 2-3 mins per side. Remove shrimp from the pan.
Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 1 tbsp of butter to the pan, and melt. Add garlic, and saute about 30 seconds- 1 minute until fragrant. Add heavy cream, milk, cream cheese, parmesan, and a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Stir constantly until cheeses are melted and incorporated, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to low, and simmer sauce for 5-6 mins, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened.
Increase the heat back to medium high, and add the shrimp back to the sauce along with the parsley. Toss to coat the shrimp, and cook another 2-3 mins. Remove from heat.
Assemble to Crostini: Arrange toasted bread on a serving platter. Top each bread with creamy shrimp. Serve immediately.
*I served this as a main dish, but you could absolutely make this an appetizer.
*If you can't find a loaf of ciabatta bread, you could also use ciabatta rolls that have been split in half.
*If you don't have fresh parsley, you could substitute 2 tsp dried parsley flakes.