This recipe will serve 4 dinner guests as a first course or appetizer. If you have more guests or you want to present this as an entree for 4, then just double the measurements of the ingredients. I have had this as an entree and finished off with a spinach salad and a slice of Gruyere. Yum. Ok, here's what you will need:
1 Puff Pastry sheet
1/2 lb bay shrimp
1/2 lb. baby scallops
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups fat free half n half, or 3.8 milk (make sure it's cold)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup sherry wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup grated hard cheese of your choice (parm, gruyere, or swiss)
1 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Let's start out by preheating the oven to 425. Take your puff pastry sheet and lay it out on a cutting board. If you have a pastry mold or cookie cutter, cut out 4 rounds about 3 inches in diameter. Put them on a non stick cookie sheet (use parchment paper), with a small brush, brush an egg wash very lightly so the pastry will come out a shiny golden brown. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry has puffed up really nicely. Please don't overbake!
While the pastry is baking, get your other ingredients together and do your prep work. When pastry shells are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool. Now take a sauce pan and on medium heat, add the olive oil and butter. Heat until butter has completely melted. Now add your shallots and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes till shallots are nicely translucent. Continuing on medium heat, sprinkle the flour over the shallots and garlic and stir well for about a minute. Slowly start adding the milk while constantly stirring. Add the sherry wine. Stir and continue to cook, lowering the heat to medium low. Allow the milk to come to a slow faint boil. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes. If the sauce gets too thick, add another half cup of milk. After 5 minutes, add the tomato paste and blend into the sauce. Your sauce should now start turning a nice pink salmon color. You may now sprinkle about 1/3 of the cheese a little at a time and while stirring, allow it to melt into the sauce. Continue to cook for about 2 more minutes and then add the paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix well and then add your seafood and parsley. Taste for flavor. Stirring constantly, continue to cook for another 3 minutes. When finished, turn heat off.
Your pastry shells should now have cooled nicely. Take a sharp knife and cut each shell in half horizontally. If you want to, you may flatten down the inside of the bottom half so that it makes a nice cavity. Set the bottom half in the center of each plate and pour a nice ladle of the seafood and sauce, sprinkle a bit of cheese and then cover that with the top half of the pastry shell. You may if you wish, add a bit more sauce over that or around the side. As a finishing touch, sprinkle a little more cheese over the pastry and around the edges of the plate. Serve hot and enjoy!
CRAB SEASON IS HERE - TIME FOR A SUBSTITUTE
Since crab season is upon us, a nice twist to this dish (for all you crab lovers) is to use fresh crab meat instead of bay shrimp. If you can get the meat from the legs and pinchers, it would be best. Also, don't add the crab to the sauce until the last minute of cooking. I've had this dish with the crab and I'll tell you, it's wonderful !!