Game Day Recipes Part 1: Cheesy Shrimp Puffs with Chimichurri Sauce

Cheesy Shrimp Puffs with Chimichurri SauceGame Day Recipes should be more than nachos and beer. Not that there’s anything wrong with nachos and beer, but they’re predictable and who wants to be that? This year, in homage to Boston & Seattle (two of my fave cities in the US, and whose food cultures often center around seafood) we’ve created some tasty finger food accompanied by sauces that will tackle your tastebuds like a defensive lineman.

Today’s recipe can be considered a tribute to Boston- while I would have preferred to call these Lobster Puffs- and if you have the funds, that would taste *amazing*, shrimp is a much more budget conscious alternative.

If you’re planning on visiting Boston, make sure you plan to eat a meal or at least a bite at Legal Seafoods on the Harbor. If you love anything that swims or scoots on the ocean floor, this is the best place to get it in Boston. Plus, you have the added benefit of being able to watch all the waterfront activity.

Cheesy Shrimp Puffs with ChimichurriNow, chimichurri sauce may not seem like a typical New England accompaniment, but we like the garlicky, vinegary kick that chimichurri provides, and the balance it creates in contrast to the richness of seafood. There’s a reason fish ‘n chips always come to the table with vinegar!

If you’ve never heard of chimichurri, it’s basically the South American version of pesto. Made with a combination of Parsley, Oregano, Cilantro, Garlic, and Olive Oil, it’s great on everything from fried eggs to steak, to seafood. We’ve given you the recipe to make a few cups- perfect for game day dipping.

Oh, and for the junior chefs out there- this is a recipe you can easily make on your own. The tiniest Kitchen Diva in Training told me rolling the mixture into balls was just like playing with play-dough!

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Hush Puppies w/ Green Chile & Chimichurri Sauce

Happy Thanksgiving week! This fun Southeast meets Southwest munchie is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving breakfast while you’re parade watching, or as an appetizer while you’re cooking for the main event. Of course, if the eaters in your house are like mine, there won’t be enough to serve for breakfast or an appetizer- most of our hush puppies were consumed right out of the fryer!

Like many recipes, these gluten-free pumpkin hush puppies are a cinch to make. So easy in fact, that the Kitchen Divas in Training did all the mixing! Traditional hush puppies are a combination of cornmeal and flour. Just a simple substitution of cornstarch for flour and not only are they safe to eat, they are just as delicious as anything containing gluten. The combination of cornflour and cornstarch creates a crispy golden outside, while not becoming too doughy or starchy on the inside. For those of you who may be wondering- cornflour is more finely ground than cornmeal. I like it here because it creates a softer texture on the inside. If you don’t have cornflour in your cupboard, don’t despair, you can either put some cornmeal in a food processor and break it down, or you can use cornmeal in the actual recipe. The texture will be more rustic, but that’s not going to impact the flavor one bit. 

We paired these puppies with a tangy chimichurri sauce, but they could easily be served with sour cream and salsa, or cilantro-yogurt. I think they’ll pair nicely with a breakfast mimosa too! Enjoy- and wherever you find your self, with whatever company you share, may the food you enjoy and the bread you break together remind you of the blessings you enjoy in this life!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Hush Puppies w/ Green Chile

Makes about 3 dozen

Ingredients

3/4 cup cornflour

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 can of pureed pumpkin (15oz)

1 small can of diced green chile (4 oz)

3-4 oz crumbled bacon, prosciutto, or diced ham (about 1/2 cup)

4 oz shredded jack cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)

2 eggs

coconut oil for deep frying

Directions

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add shredded cheese and bacon and toss to coat (this helps to prevent clumping of the ingredients). In a separate bowl, combine egg, pumpkin, and green chile. Add to the dry mixture and stir gently to combine.

Heat oil to 340℉ and scoop about 6 spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil. (I use a melon-baller) sett the timer for 2 minutes as soon as the last scoop has been added to the oil. At about 1 minute remaining, flip the balls in the oil so that they evenly brown. They will be a nice golden brown by the time 2 minutes are up. Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to cool.

Serve with chimichurri sauce, cilantro-yogurt, or sour cream and salsa. Here’s a quick recipe for chimichurri sauce.

Chimichurri Sauce

6 garlic cloves

1/2 small onion

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 cup olive oil

scant 1/4 cup cider or red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Combine garlic, onion, and cilantro in a food processor. When the garlic, onions, and cilantro are minced, add the olive oil and vinegar. Continue to puree for another minute. Pour into a small bowl and serve.