I was a guest once on a show where I got to assist a famous chef while he prepared a dish of whole shrimp wrapped in shredded pastry. I was asked to taste one for the camera and it was so incredible that once the cameras stopped rolling, I grabbed the demo plate and brought it back to the dressing room where I was able to enjoy the leftovers. Eager to taste it again, I decided to put my own spin on the recipe. Filo-wrapped shrimp (also known as “firecracker shrimp”) are actually a pretty classic party appetizer, but these takes it a step further with a spicy peanut orange marinade that does double-duty as a dipping sauce. The tails here are completely removed to make for a neat, no-fuss presentation (and so your guests won’t have to hunt around the room for a trash can).
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Yield: about 2 dozen shrimp rolls
1 pound extra-large shrimp
½ cup The Heat is On peanut butter
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 package filo
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon honey
Serving suggestions: soy sauce, sweet chili dipping sauce (optional)
1. Peel and devein the shrimp, then rinse under cold running water. Pat dry and use a paring knife to cut small slits on the inside curve of each of the shrimp so that you can lay it flat. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, orange juice, olive oil, orange zest, lemon juice, smoked paprika, chili powder, kosher salt, and minced garlic, until smooth. Pour half of the marinade over the shrimp and toss well to coat.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
4. Roll out the filo and use a knife to cut into 5” squares. Stack the squares and cover loosely with a clean and damp tea towel.
5. Working with one to two sheets at a time, use a pastry brush to generously brush the square with melted butter. Fold in half then brush the folded side with melted butter again.
6. Lay one of the prepared and marinated shrimp along the short end of the folded filo and roll up in the pastry all the way to the top. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet, seam-side down and repeat with the rest of the shrimp and filo. (At this point you can freeze the shrimp to prepare at a later date.)
7. Brush the tops of each of the shrimp filo rolls with a bit more melted butter and sprinkle with kosher salt and smoked paprika. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes or until golden and crispy. Remove from the oven when ready and serve immediately. (If baking direct from the freezer, allow an additional 5-10 minutes of baking time.)
8. While the shrimp bake, whisk the remaining marinade with ¼ cup water and 1 tablespoon honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
9. Serve filo-wrapped shrimp on a bed of lettuce alongside the dipping sauce. You can also serve along with soy or sweet chili dipping sauces.