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~ Time out for Tiny Salad-Shrimp-Salad Sandwiches ~

IMG_8404I grew up in an era when tea sandwiches were in vogue.  At every festive gathering, one could count on at least one three-tier tray of tea sandwiches.  Some might argue they're still in vogue, but, I can't remember the last time I was offered a tea sandwich.  These tiny shrimp salad sandwiches aren't exactly tea sandwiches (which are made using crustless white bread), but, I'm willing to classify them as such, as, they're too classy to classify in the slider-sandwich category.

Once upon a time, people bought salad shrimp packed in cans (similar to tuna).  That's ok.  That's how things were done before flash freezing came along, and freezer- trucks and train-cars criss-crossed our country.  It was also before in-home refrigerators had an ample freezer section and households invested in chest- or stand-type freezers.  When my mom got a freezer IT was a big deal. When frozen salad shrimp became available to her, she never bought the canned again.

America loves shrimp.

IMG_8397Shrimp, "the fruit of the sea", is America's favorite seafood.

IMG_8252When it comes to shrimp, while big is always better served in a shrimp cocktail, when making deep-fried shrimp, and, in specialty dishes like firecracker shrimp, that's just not so when it comes to making shrimp dip or shrimp salad.  Interestingly, small shrimp are sweeter, and, when mixed into a shrimp dip or shrimp salad, that extra flavor is important. There's more.  Extra-small shrimp, also known as "salad shrimp", are seriously easy to work with. They're fully-cooked and flash-frozen, and, they thaw under cold running water (in a colander) in 8-10 minutes.

To make my tiny, dainty, salad-shrimp tea sandwiches:

IMG_835512  ounces salad shrimp, thawed as directed below

3/4  cup small-diced celery

1/3  cup small-diced onion (about 6 tablespoons)

1/3  cup red bell pepper (about 6  tablespoons each)

1/2  cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup Heinz chili sauce

1  teaspoon Lea & Perrin's Worcestershire sauce

1/2  teaspoon high-quality, not from concentrate, lemon juice

1/4  teaspoon each:  celery seed, sea salt and ground cayenne pepper

2  16-ounce containers Pillsbury Grand's Southern-homestyle biscuits, baked as directed below (Note:  Biscuits are best served within a few hours or the same day they are baked, meaning, if refrigerating the salad overnight, do not bake the biscuits a day ahead too.)

IMG_8325 IMG_8325 IMG_8325 IMG_8325 IMG_8325 IMG_8325 IMG_8325 IMG_8325~Step 1.  To bake the biscuits, line 2 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pans with parchment paper.  Open one packages of the biscuits.  Working one a time, place each biscuit on a cutting board.  Using a small rolling pin and and a VERY light touch, flatten the top "just a bit".  Using a 1 1/2" biscuit cutter, cut each biscuit into three discs, placing the discs on the prepared pan (I place 2 dozen on each pan).  Bake on center rack of preheated 360º oven 11-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Repeat process with second package of biscuits.

IMG_8260 IMG_8260~ Step 2. To thaw the shrimp, place the frozen shrimp in a colander in the sink.  Run cold water through them for 3-5 minutes.  Set aside for 3-5 minutes, or, a minute or two longer if necessary. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and pat dry.

IMG_8357 IMG_8362 IMG_8362 IMG_8362 IMG_8362 IMG_8362~Step 3.  Place shrimp in a medium-large bowl. Small dice the celery, onion and bell pepper as directed, adding them to the bowl as you work.  To make the dressing, in a small bowl, place and stir together the mayo, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and seasonings.  Add dressing to bowl of shrimp and veggies.  Using a rubber spatula, thoroughly fold the dressing into the shrimp while tossing the vegetables throughout the salad.  Cover and refrigerate two hours or overnight, to allow flavors time to marry.  

Place a 3-4 shrimp-sized dollop onto each biscuit sandwich. 

IMG_8411Time out for Tiny Salad-Shrimp-Salad Sandwiches:  Recipe yields 2 1/2-3 cups shrimp salad/4 dozen appetizer-sized sandwiches; toothpicks

Special Equipment List:  2, 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pans; parchment; small rolling pin; 1 1/2" biscuit cutter; wire cooling rack; colander; paper towels; cutting board; chef's knife; rubber spatula

6a0120a8551282970b0240a4ddaa51200dCook's Note: How does shrimp sizing work?  In a shrimp shell -- it doesn't.  There is no industry standard for it. One vendor's medium, may be another vendor's extra-large and vice versa.  This explains why many new-to-shrimp buying cooks are confused by these seven words:  extra-small, small, medium, large, extra-large, jumbo, colossal.  When purchasing shrimp, the most important words to know aren't words at all, they are numbers: ~ Purchase Shrimp by their Count, not by their Size ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020) 


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