SPICY SHRIMP SWEET POTATO BITES
I’ve worked in the hospitality industry since 1996. In that time, I have planned thousands of events. My favorite part? The food tasting of course! Especially finger foods. I love hors d’oeuvres of all kinds- cold, hot, passed, stationary, dips- you name it, I’ve probably tried it. Wedding tastings are the best as they typically want the best of what you have to offer. Even better are the times where you have the opportunity to go off menu and customize something truly special like I’ve done with these Spicy Shrimp Sweet Potato Bites.
I’ve lived in Virginia for the past 18 years and in that time, I’ve consumed a lot of fabulous, quality seafood. If you are lucky enough to live near coastal waters where fresh seafood is available, you have the ability to create some wonderful dishes. Some favorites- chef attended raw bar stations where they will crack that lobster or crab for you and serve the succulent meat to you without you having to get a finger dirty. Because of their popularity, they can get expensive. I always recommend those on a budget, don’t skimp on the quality of what you are serving, just change the way it is served.
For example, you might have an event for 100 people. And let’s say you want to serve shrimp. In Virginia, for example, one shrimp will sell around $4 per piece. Sounds pretty high right? Now consider those shrimp on ice for all of your 100 guests to sample. What would you do if you loved shrimp? Pile it on your plate of course! So I’m going to take six pieces, because hey- it’s shrimp and I’m not paying for it! If each guest did that you would need 600 shrimp, or $2,400 in shrimp. But of course one would not pay that much for shrimp, so you only buy 300 pieces. Several things happen.
One, you run out of shrimp- one of the most popular items at the cocktail hour. Two, it looks like the VENUE ran out of food, not that you didn’t order enough. Three, you have some angry individuals that did not get to partake in the shrimp. If it is a wedding, most likely the bridal party and close family because they are taking pictures, most likely the ones paying for the event. So what do you do?
You pick a quality product and you control how it is served. Guests are less likely to grab six shrimp off of a platter presented to them by a staff member in a face to face offering. A chef- attended food station- the chef can control the amount he or she is serving. If you are not budget conscious, none of this matters, but nine times out of 10, budget is the leading factor in the decision making process.
Which brings me to my post here. These Spicy Shrimp Sweet Potato Bites can go a long way. It is filling, flavorful, and for the most part, low in cost. I used one sweet potato, 12 shrimp, one avocado, a little mayo, two slices of bacon and some chopped cilantro and I ended up with 12 delicious two-biters for the cost of less than $10. Now I used wild caught, black tiger prawns which were a little more expensive but you can choose a smaller shrimp, still have a tasty nosh and not spend as much. I also butterfly cut my shrimp so that they appeared larger with a nicer presentation. A nice crispy sweet potato round topped with an avocado mayo, spicy shrimp, crumbled bacon and chopped cilantro- honestly, they were so rich in flavor, I could only eat two. My husband? He ate the rest.
I hope you enjoy this wonderful savory bite as much as we did!
- Sweet Potato Bites
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾ inch rounds
- 2 tablespoons ghee, melted
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Avocado Mayo
- 1 avocado
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ½ cup mayonnaise (I used a Whole30 compliant homemade mayo)
- ⅛ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Spicy Shrimp
- 1lb. large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and butterfly cut
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- Fresh cilantro & chopped bacon for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Line large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Brush foil with melted ghee. Place potato rounds on pan, spread evenly without touching. Brush potatoes with melted ghee. Sprinkle with salt.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, turn over using tongs or a spatula, and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Prepare avocado mayo by mashing avocado and adding the remainder of the ingredients to the bowl, thoroughly blending.
- To prepare the Spicy Shrimp: In a small bowl, mix together all spices and add shrimp, tossing to coat.
- Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add ghee to the pan and then place the shrimp. Cook shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side.
- Assemble the bites. Top each sweet potato bite with a dollop of spicy avocado mayo, one shrimp, and garnish with fresh cilantro and chopped bacon.