We’re convinced that Louisiana families who invented Cajun cuisine made their own French-style fresh cheese back in the day, but Bellwether Farms Fromage Blanc lends authenticity as well as flavor to this spicy appetizer.
Makes 8 to 12 toasts or a dip for 6-8 people
9 to 12 large raw shrimp, deveined and shelled
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon Cajun Spice Mix (a spicy mixture of garlic, paprika, cayenne, etc)
½ cup lager (we like Lagunitas Pilsner)
½ cup fish, chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
7.5oz container of Bellwether Farms Fromage Blanc
chives, chopped for garnish (optional)
Season the shrimp with salt. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes, or until they begin to turn pink. Lower the heat to medium, push the shrimp to one side of the pan, and add the butter. Once it melts, add the garlic and spice mixture and cook for 1 minute, giving the pan a few shakes to distribute the garlic and seasoning. Add the beer and toss. With a pair of tongs, remove the shrimp from the pan, giving each one a little shake to remove as much of the seasoning as possible, and set aside.
Turn the heat to high and boil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the beer mixture is reduced by half. Add the stock and the Worcestershire sauce and continue to boil until the liquid is reduced by three-fourths. Add the lemon juice and a pinch or two of salt, and stir well. Return the shrimp to the pan and stir until well coated. Take off heat and let set until cooled to room temperature.
Once cooled, place the shrimp, sauce and Fromage Blanc into a food processor. Pulse 8- 10 times or until you still have small chunks shrimp.
Turn the oven on to broil. Cut the baguette on the diagonal into slices and spread them out onto a sheet pan. Spread the Fromage Blanc and shrimp mixture onto the toast and put in oven until the edges of the toast are browned. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with chives and serve.
This dish can also be made as a dip and served with bread, crackers or pita chips.