Robin Rhea’s Entertaining Tips
Created by Holly Herrick and photographed by Helen Dujardin, these snappy, Slathered Shrimp will make you sing with delight.
Slathered Guacamole Stuffed Shrimp
(Makes 16 appetizer portions)
All pink and green, these peppy little mouth-poppers just scream spring and make pretty starters for your Easter or spring feasts.
For the guacamole:
1 medium ripe Hass avocado, peeled, halved and pit removed
Juice of ½ lime
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Slather Brand Slatherin’ Sauce Spicy Recipe
1 large clove garlic, minded
¼ cup finely chopped Bermuda onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon best quality extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the shrimp:
1 pound, 15 – 20 count fresh shrimp, peeled, and deveined with tail on and butterflied
1 tablespoon Slather Brand Slatherin’ Sauce Spicy Recipe
Drizzle of best quality extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the guacamole at least one hour before serving so the flavors can set up. Serve at room temperature. To prepare the guacamole, combine the halved avocado, lime juice, and Slatherin’ Sauce in a medium bowl. Smash with a fork or a potato masher to work into a chunky puree. With a spatula, fold in the garlic, Berumuda onion, fresh cilantro, and olive oil. Taste and season carefully to taste with salt and freshly ground black. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and press down the wrap so it touches the top of the guacamole, covering the entire surface. (This helps prevent the guacamole from discoloring). Stand at room temperature for up to one hour.
Meanwhile, turn your oven broiler (they can also be grilled) on high. Prep the shrimp by cutting down the round, back side of each shrimp, stopping at the tail. Peel the shell off of each shrimp, keeping the tail on. Remove the vein and discard. To butterfly the shrimp, cut deeper through the center of the round back, stopping about 1/8” until you get to the under-side of the shrimp. Fan out the two sides of shrimp to flatten. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of the Slatherin’ Sauce Spicy Recipe over each shrimp. Drizzle each very lightly with olive oil and the lime juice. Season liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper. Place the baking sheet as close to the broiler as possible and cook, watching closely until crisp and golden and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature for five minutes.
To compile, arrange the shrimp flat on individual plates or a serving platter. Top each with a heaping teaspoon of the guacamole. Garnish each with a sprig of fresh cilantro if desired. Serve immediately.
Over the course of the years I’ve hosted many events for family and friends. Holiday get-togethers, family celebrations, and just Friday evenings with the girls.
With each event I’ve hosted, my goal has been to create a welcoming atmosphere where each guest can relax, enjoy the food I’ve prepared and can leave feeling refreshed and happy to have been with everyone else.
I learned from my mother so much of how I entertain and share my hospitality. The single thing that stands out is to do the most with what you have! You don’t have to offer prime rib or steak to your guests. Sometimes popcorn and beer is just the right combination. Other times, it may be a vegetable plate of your best summertime garden produce. And if you want to use paper plates, go for it—although I prefer not adding to our landfills—so I use washable plates and utensils.
But no matter the type of event, I’m guided by these five tips and my desire to offer sincere hospitality to each guest:
- Like goes with like: For guests that is. Invite people who will mix well with one another. Always determine which guests are natural connectors. Then when you have those guests add your other guests, thinking about what they have in common and how their personalities mix. And know each person’s style, formal, casual, overbearing or laid-back. Just don’t have too many overbearing people at an event, or you’ll get chaos!
- Create a setting that invites conviviality: Know how everyone gravitates to the kitchen? People like cozy settings. It’s our nature. It makes us feel protected. So, plan your party setting so that you have areas where people can gather for conversation. Establish the mood with creative lighting and cushions on the deck or furniture. If its daylight and you’re having your event outside, group potted plants with your lawn furniture so you create a garden room feel. The goal is to create places where people can cluster.
- Select a theme: Now we’re not talking each party has to be Arabian Nights! I mean think Winter Warm-up or the color red, as an example. If you select red, let it help you decide on your linens, plates, and flowers. You can even extend that to your clothes. If its summer and you’re having a pool-side event, think water; finding items that remind you of summer aqua pools and cool splashing. See what I mean?
- Plan your menu: Try to build your menu in alignment with your theme and select items that don’t have you completely in the kitchen at the last minute. Make your shopping list early and shop several days before your event. Also, many great hostesses will tell you not to experiment with an un-tested recipe at your event, but I’ll tell you that if you have confidence in yourself as a cook, you may want to do this, because the excitement that comes from doing something new carries over to your guests. However, don’t do this if you aren’t an accomplished cook! Instead, try something new, testing ahead of time so you aren’t harried.
- Relax: If you relax and are at ease, your guests will be too. And as the great Julia Child often did, don’t worry if something doesn’t come out right! The focus in on everyone being together, not on whether or not a few of the burgers are singed at the edges.