Easy Shrimp Cocktail Cups
1 lb frozen cooked, peeled tiny baby shrimp, thawed
3 Tbs lime juice
½ tsp grated lime zest
2 Tbs chopped scallions
1 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into ¼ “ pieces
¼ cup of bottled chili sauce
2 Tbs finely drained pimentos from a jar
½ tsp hot pepper sauce (hot sauce or Tabasco)
1/8 tsp of pepper
3 pkgs. (2.1 oz each) mini phyllo shells
Combine the shrimp, juice, zest, scallions and cilantro; chill for 5 minutes.
Stir in the avocado, chili sauce, pimentos, hot sauce and pepper.
Divide among shells, 1 tablespoonful per shell. To make sure the shells stay crispy, fill them just before serving.
Makes 45 servings
Work time: 25 min.
Total time: 30 min.
A Few Champagne Tips
How do you plan to serve the champagne? Will you be making cocktails, or use it strictly for making toasts?
For cocktails, you can stick to an inexpensive sparkling wine or spumante; the wine’s characteristics become less important when mixed with juice or liqueur.
For toasts, choose a blanc de blancs (this is only made with chardonnay grapes). It’s low in sugar and therefore very dry. This type is perfect for this occasion and will also provide a good accompaniment to appetizers (like the abovementioned Easy Shrimp Cocktail Cups).
Want something different for a sparkling impact? Try a rose (ro-zay) champagne.
Opening The Bubbly
It’s best to buy champagne (or any sparkling drink) at least a day before you plan to drink it; that’s because you’ll want to “rest” the champagne to relax the bubbles under the cork. Also, you’ll have time to chill it; this will also subdue the bubble pressure and generate less foam.
Point the bottle (and cork) away from yourself , others and any valuable objects. Now…..
Remove the foil from the top of the bottle.
Hold on to the cork (place your thumb on it).
Remove the wire by twisting off the wire cage (for more control, hold the bottle with a cloth or towel. This will comes in handy for quickly catching any spills!).
Hold the base of the bottle with one hand or against your hip. Place the towel over cork. Hold the cork in place, so you’ll have control of it and prevent it from popping. Turn and/or twist the bottle until the cork gently releases (if the cork still won’t budge, run it under warm water for 10-15 seconds).
As the cork loosens and is about to pop, push against it. You’ll want to bring it out with a sigh, not a pop, to prevent the cork from flying out and about. This will also prevent the champagne from spilling.
Keep glasses nearby and ready to catch the foam.
Pour into champagne “flutes” (those long, specially-designed glasses). Let the foam settle down a bit before filling the glass.
Did You Know That…..
A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continually from the bottom of the glass to the top.
The concept of toasting goes back to the ancient Greeks and Romans; it came from the practice of putting a piece of burned bread (toast) in the wine bowl or common pitcher (wine was shared among those who attended religious functions). Wine was not as refined then as it is today; the bread or toast was put there to absorb the strong, intense acid content, thus rendering it more flavorful. The act of drinking in unison came to be called a “toast.”