Avocado and Shrimp Crostini
This easy appetizer is an interesting combination of flavor, texture and presentation that always seems to be a hit. The contrasting flavors of tart chili sauce, creamy avocado and fresh cilantro are a nice match for the shrimp, and the light sprinkling of celery seed makes a great finishing touch.
- 1 lb medium shrimp (41 to 50 per lb), cooked, peeled and chilled (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 loaf French baguette
- Olive oil
- 2 medium avocados
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon jalapeño pepper sauce
- 1/2 cup bottled chili sauce
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Celery seed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Place the shrimp in a bowl, toss with lime juice and set aside.
Peel the avocados, remove the pits and place them in the work bowl of a food processor along with the mayonnaise and jalapeño pepper sauce. Process until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cut the baguette into enough 1/4-inch slices to accomodate the number of individual shrimp you have. Arrange in one layer on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil and toast in the oven until light golden and just crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the baguette slices from the oven and allow them to cool. Note: This recipe can be made ahead to this point.
Drain the shrimp of any excess liquid and pat dry with paper towels.
Spread a thin layer of avocado purée on each baguette slice and top with a single cilantro leaf. Carefully place 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of chili sauce on top of each leaf, then top with a shrimp.
Sprinkle the finished crostini with celery seed and freshly ground black pepper.
Makes 40 to 48 crostini
You can choose to remove the tails from the shrimp, or leave them on. We prefer to remove them so guests don't need to concern themselves with what to do with the shells. If you're short on time, buy pre-cooked shrimp for cocktail ~ it makes prep a cinch!
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