For as long as I can remember, I've loved shrimp cocktail, deep fried shrimp, shrimp in dips, even shrimp sandwiches. Maybe it has something to do with my first memory of reading a "real" book (with chapters). It was summer in the early 70's. A few of our neighbors were commercial fishermen, so a book about a girl working in a seafood processing plant was fitting for a young girl (me) growing up in Bremerton, Washington. I don't recall the name of the book, but the memory of the visuals I had while reading are still clear. The girl in the book was hired to help process crab and shrimp after local fishermen brought in their catch of the day. After her work day was over, she was allowed to eat a bit of leftover shrimp. I remember wishing I could sit beside the girl on the loading platform of the warehouse and share her can of shrimp. Don't you love how a book can transform you to a different place and time?? Forty years later I recall that vivid description of freshly canned shrimp.
So that's my summer reading/shrimp story. Oh-The shrimp. I've been making this appetizer for years. It's simple and delicious. Great for summer or winter. Relaxed or formal gatherings. Another tried-and-true Pinch of Salt Lake Cookbook recipe.
Layered Seafood Spread
A Pinch of Salt Lake
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
dash of garlic salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
8 oz jar chili sauce or 8 oz homemade chili sauce
1/2 bunch chopped green onions
2 cups crab meat or shrimp (small or large), cooked, deveined and chopped if desired
Combine softened cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, garlic salt and Worcestershire in a medium bowl.
Spread onto a serving platter. The cream cheese mixture should be spread into a 10-12 inch circle. You may also use a pie plate.
Pour the chili sauce on top of the cream cheese mixture, taking care to not mix into the cream cheese. Make sure the seafood is drained well. If you have rinsed the shrimp, blot dry with paper towels to avoid making the dip watery.
Top the cream cheese and chili sauce with green onions and seafood.
Serve with crackers or sliced baguette.
-The original recipe says to make this several hour before serving. I have done this but usually wait to top the cream cheese with the rest of ingredients until just before serving. The chili sauce tends to bleed onto the cream cheese mixture if making too far in advance. If you want to make this ahead of time, mix all of the ingredients in the cream cheese layer ahead of time, spread onto a platter, cover and set in fridge. Rinse the seafood, blot dry and put in a Ziploc bag. Chop the green onions, place in a small Ziploc bag. Just before serving, assemble.