yields 24 pieces
Fennel spice mix (recipe below)
1/4 pound Maytag bleu cheese (or other good quality creamy bleu cheese)
12 slices (about 1/4 pound) Prosciutto, sliced a little thicker than usual
2 cups baby spinach leaves
extra virgin olive oil for searing
spicy-lemon aioli (recipe below)
- Remove all of the shell from the shrimp, leaving only the tail fin section attached. Also remove the sharp pointed shell piece from the fin section. Shrimp have a natural curl to their shape, and in this dish we want to straighten them out. Place the shrimp on a cutting board (belly down) and gently press on the top of the shrimp. When flattened, butterfly the shrimp by cutting down from the top (the length of the shrimp), almost reaching the bottom, but not cutting through. Gently press the shrimp open and continue butterflying the remaining shrimp.
- Sprinkle the shrimp with the spice mix and place some of the bleu cheese in the butterflyed shrimp, wrapping the sides up around the cheese. Slice the Prosciutto slices in half lengthwise and lay a few leaves of the baby spinach on each slice. Place the stuffed shrimp on the narrow end of the Prosciutto slice and roll each shrimp up with the spinach and Prosciutto, leaving the tail fin exposed and secure with a toothpick. Continue rolling the remaining shrimp.
- Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the olive oil. Place the shrimp in the pan and cook, lightly browning the Prosciutto, about 2 minutes per side or until the shrimp are cooked through. Remove the toothpicks. This dish can be served hot or at room temperature with the spicy-aioli on the side.
Fennel Spice Mix
2 Tablespoons whole fennel seeds, toasted and ground
1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
2 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1. Place the whole fennel seeds in a small sauté pan and toss over medium-high heat until fragrant and lightly toasted. Finely grind in a spice grinder.
2. Mix all of the ingredients together until well combined.
4 garlic cloves
2 large egg yolks
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup canola oil
kosher salt to taste
1. Mince the garlic and mash it with the side of a large knife (using a little salt) until it becomes a smooth paste. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice, paprika, cayenne and Dijon mustard.
2. While whisking the egg mixture vigorously, add the oils in a very slow stream. Whisk constantly, adding the oil slowly until all of the oil is incorporated. Add the mashed garlic and season with salt. Cover and chill.