From the catering days…. an oldie but goodie. Relatively easy to make, can be dressed up festively, and always good. This was one of my favorite appetizers. It was usually served during the winter months at Christmas parties and winter weddings, because it’s easy to decorate and make festive. (Which I did not do here because I did not plan ahead. And I ran out of steam.). But, it still tastes delicious.
- 1 package Knox unflavored gelatin
- ¼ cup cold water
- 1 8-ounce bricks cream cheese
- 1 10 1/2 oz. cans Campbell’s Tomato Soup
- 1 tsp Worcestershjire sauce
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- ¼ tsp hot sauce, or to taste
- ½ cup white part only green onions, finely chopped
- ½ cup celery, finely chopped
- ½ cup red and/or green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 6-ounce cans baby shrimp – drained (I’ve also used freshly boiled shrimp which I chopped into small pieces)
- Let the gelatin bloom in a 1/4 cup of water for a few minutes.
- Bring the tomato soup to a simmer, and add the softened cream cheese. Add the Worcestershire, lemon juice, and some hot sauce or Cajun seasoning to taste. Do not let boil.
- While the cheese and soup are melting, finely chop the celery, green onions, and bell peppers.
- Once the cream cheese is fully melted into the tomato soup, add the softened gelatin. Bring the mix to a gentle boil, and remove from heat. Add the celery, green onions, and bell peppers. and stir well.
- Let the mixture cool substantially, then add the shrimp, and mix well.
- Have your mold ready, spray with vegetable spray, and dump it all in. Tap the container on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. It’s best to let it sit 12-24 hours.
- To unmold, I either set it in a container of warm (not hot) water to loosen. Place your serving tray over the top of the mold, and flip it over. Gently tap the bottom of the mold to loosen it onto the serving platter. Garnish as desired, and serve with your choice of crackers.
- If you do decide to use fresh shrimp, rinse the shrimp and simmer in water. Do not overcook, or they will get tough. Let cool thoroughly before adding to mixture. The shrimp can be hand-chopped, or chopped in a food processor if you don’t want a smoother texture more like the seafood salad (for crackers) one can pick up at your local grocery (if you live in South Louisiana; most groceries here always have shrimp and crab salad all the time).
- Also, just a word on brand name products: this is one instance where I suggest using the brand name product. I’ve used some store-name products, and when heated they did not soften smoothly, but kind of curdled. Maybe my heat was too high, except it wasn’t. It’s happened a few times, so now, for dishes like this, I stick with the brand name. Better safe than sorry.