Last longer than a platter of boiled shrimp.
Several months ago on a stormy rainy day (my favorite of all days) I had lunch with friends in Houston at Churroscos. We were brought plate after plate after plate of plantain chips sliced into long thin pieces and served with chimichirri and pureed mango salsa and as usual that got me to thinking about using these chips as a base for one of my old appetizer recipes. I decided to try tostones instead of a chip. You can decided whether you want a cracker or go to the trouble to fry the plantains or maybe, just buy some plantain chips.
I’m always looking for a way to reinvent a recipe. The filling for this little appetizer is one that I first used about 20 years ago for a party I catered and was always so easy to make and the fact that I could make the filling in advance made it even better. I really started using this recipe because if I put out cocktail shrimp at a party, it was gone in a New York minute. With this little bite you have the tostones (or cracker), shrimp and cream cheese. So, it’s a bit more filling than inhaling a half dozen of boiled shrimp. (And a lot cheaper too.)
If you are looking for a quick, easy appetizer, you can’t get much easier than cream cheese, shrimp, pickled jalapeños and some cilantro. Throw in a crisp plantain chip (or cracker) and a drizzle of chimichiri sauce (or not) and you have a delicious, spicy treat to serve at your next party. When I use to make these I used only the cracker, shrimp topped with the ruffle of jalapeño cream cheese mixture and a cilantro leaf for a garnish (see pic below). So you do not have to make the chimichurri or the tostones if you don’t want to.
For some reason I always loved this shrimp and spread on a cracker (and it had to be a Ritz) then I tried the plantain and knew it was a good alternative to the cracker. Using a decorating tip to pipe out the cheese onto the back of the shrimp makes a beautiful presentation.