Shrimp Paste

This Low Country dip is really an extravagant compound butter, highly flavored and very rich. It can be stirred into hot grits as a brunch treat.

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  • Servings: MAKES 2 1/4 CUPS


  • 2 sticks ( 1/2 pound) unsalted butter
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup cream sherry
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large skillet, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter until it foams. Add the shrimp and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Cook over high heat, stirring, until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a food processor.

  2. Return the skillet to high heat. Add the sherry, lemon juice and cayenne and cook until reduced to 3 tablespoons, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the liquid over the shrimp and process until very smooth.

  3. With the machine on, add the remaining butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and process until smooth and silky. Transfer the shrimp paste to a serving bowl and let cool. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerated for at least 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Make Ahead

The shrimp paste can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Contributed By Published November 1998

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