These are the appetizers we served with cocktails, to begin an evening that we had donated for a charity event (see recipedoodle.com Friday December the 19th 2014)
ROSEMARY AND TOASTED CARAWAY SHORTBREAD
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 egg, beaten to blend
coarse sugar (for sprinkling on top)
Heat oven to 350F. Toast caraway seeds in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Coarsely chop, set aside.
Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, sugar, powdered sugar, and salt until very light and fluffy, 7 to 10 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add flour, caraway and 2 teaspoons of chopped rosemary, mix just to combine. Dough will look shaggy and a little dry.
Press dough into two 8 inch cake pans. Brush with egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake until shortbread is golden brown and sides pull away from pan, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, let cool in pan before turning out and cutting into wedges or bars.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2013
PICKLED SHRIMP WITH FENNEL
1 fennel bulb
1 tablespoon salt
2 pounds of large, raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup thinly sliced white onion
Slice fennel bulb thinly, reserving fronds to equal 1 tablespoon. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and water.
Bring 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 quarts of water to boil in a large saucepan, over high heat. Remove from heat, add shrimp and let stand, stirring once, 1 minute or just until shrimp turn pink.
Transfer shrimp to ice water, using a slotted spoon. Reserve 2 cups of hot cooking liquid in a medium bowl. Let shrimp stand for 10 minutes, stirring once. Transfer shrimp to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving ice water in a bowl.
Whisk lemon juice, white wine vinegar, serrano pepper, salt and sugar into reserved hot cooking liquid until salt and sugar dissolve. Place bowl in reserved ice water and whisk lemon juice mixture until cooled to room temperature.
Remove lemon juice mixture from ice water, discard ice water, reserving chilled bowl for shrimp. Stir together onion, fennel slices, chopped fennel fronds and shrimp in chilled bowl. Pour cooled lemon juice mixture over shrimp mixture. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
Serve with a slotted spoon.
Recipe adapted from Southern Living, March 2013