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Curried Shrimp Puffs

Mary Anne here. These delicate sandwiches look like you spent hours slaving over them, but in reality, the pastry is one of the simplest to execute.  Stash this one as a master recipe for desserts as well.  Use the “puffs” portion of the recipe along with a pastry bag to create Cream Puffs or Éclairs as well as Profiteroles with Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate sauce.

Curried Shrimp Puffs
Makes 24 Sandwiches

Ingredients for the Puffs (aka Pâte à Choux):
1 cup all-purpose flour – from stock
4 ounces unsalted butter, sliced – from stock
1 cup water -from stock
¼ teaspoon salt – from stock
4 large eggs, lightly beaten – from stock

Ingredients for the Egg Wash:
1 large egg whisked with 1 Tablespoon water – from stock

Ingredients for the Curried Shrimp:
1 lb. medium shrimp, shelled, de-veined, and coarsely chopped – $7.99
3 Tablespoons shallots, minced – $2.99
1 heaping Tablespoon curry powder – from stock
¾ teaspoon ground ginger – from stock
3 Tablespoons Chutney – $2.99
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup mayonnaise – from stock
Grand Total Assuming Well-Stocked Pantry: $13.97
Cost per Serving:$0.58

Directions for the Puffs:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Butter a large jelly roll pan.

2. In a 2 quart saucepan, bring the water and butter slices to a boil.

3. Still on a high flame, add all of the flour, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon.  Keep stirring until the flour is thoroughly incorporated. (This takes less than a minute.)  The butter/flour mixture will pull away from the sides of the saucepan, creating a rough looking ball.

4. Turn off the flame; add the beaten eggs, a little bit at a time, again stirring vigorously until each addition is completely mixed in.  The dough will be soft.

5. Drop the batter by heaping Tablespoons onto the prepared jelly-roll pan, about 2 inches apart.  Using a pastry brush, stroke the tops with a light coat of the egg wash.

6. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes until puffed and golden.

7. Cool on wire racks and store in a sealed bag either at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Directions for Curried Shrimp:
1. In a large skillet, sauté the shallots in 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the chopped shrimp and remaining tablespoon of butter.  Sprinkle with ginger and curry powder.  If the spices stick to the pan, toss in about a tablespoon of water to “deglaze” the pan.

2. Stirring constantly, sauté until shrimp begin to turn.  This only takes a minute or so.

3. Transfer to a medium bowl.  Add the chutney, and season with salt and pepper to taste, mixing thoroughly.  Allow the mixture to cool before proceeding.

4. Fold in the mayonnaise.  The mixture is a fairly wet one, but time in the fridge will bind it further.  Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours. To assemble: Using a serrated knife, slice the puffs in half horizontally and scoop out the inner dough, creating a hollow in which to place the Curried Shrimp filling.  (I use my fingers to pinch out the dough.)  Discard the pinched, inner dough.  Fill the bottom half of the puff shell with the shrimp mixture and cover with the top.