Yield: 18 appetizers
Equipment needed: A large skillet with lid; parchment paper; a mini muffin pan.
18 fresh asparagus spears, cleaned and trimmed
Dijonnaise Dressing (recipe below)
1 (17.3-ounce) box frozen puff pastry sheets (or 18 cocktail-sized phyllo shells)
18 medium shrimp, cooked and shelled
2 teaspoons chopped fresh citrus mint, such as lemon or orange
Place asparagus in a large skillet and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 3 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again and pat dry. Cut off tips and reserve for garnish. Cut remaining spears into ¼-inch pieces. Toss with Dijonnaise Dressing and refrigerate until ready to use.
Defrost puff pastry sheets for about ½ hour. On a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, roll out a sheet of puff pastry to a 7½ x 15-inch rectangle. Cut 9 (2½-inch) rounds from pastry. Repeat with remaining pastry sheet to make 18 rounds in all. (See note)
Heat oven to 400°. Press rounds into ungreased cups of mini muffin pan and bake in oven for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Watch carefully. Remove from oven and tap down centers while hot so that rounds can be filled with asparagus mixture. Cool.
Spoon 1 teaspoon asparagus mixture into each shell. Place a reserved asparagus tip straight up in each, and wrap each tip with a shrimp. Sprinkle with citrus mint.
Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.
Note: At this point, rounds can be frozen quickly on a cookie sheet, then stored in a sealable bag in the freezer until ready to use. Defrost and continue with recipe.
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, lemon zest and lemon juice.
From Herbal Cookery, From the Kitchens and Gardens of the St Louis Herb Society © St Louis Herb Society 2009, p. 20
Photo by Steve Adams Studio