Spontaneous entertaining is fun but it can catch you with your appetizers down. A while ago, I figured I had the bases covered if I kept some Kalamata olives, toasted almonds, and cream cheese on hand. I could always make little balls of cream cheese and roll them in cracked pepper, or flatten them with a dollop of chutney on top, or blend in chives, parsley and garlic, add a few crackers to the plate and that usually worked just fine.
Then Sharon Frost from Calais obliged me with this Shrimp Dip. “This is an old favorite I’ve been making for years,” she wrote, “Quick, easy, and tasty.” And it is. And it’s made from ingredients we are likely to have on hand like mayonnaise, cream cheese, horseradish, chili sauce, and lemon juice, or lemons to squeeze. Just make sure you also have a small can of shrimp in the pantry, which is itself pretty handy stuff. Just the other day I saw tiny shrimp added to deviled egg filling and thought how delicious that would be.
I didn’t have chili sauce, but I sprinkled in some chili powder; if I had cocktail sauce I would have used that. I also doubled up on the horseradish because we like it very much. Canned shrimp (and tuna fish) cans are getting smaller by the minute. Pretty soon they will all be single serving size. So I decided I would mix together all the ingredients except the shrimp, then add the mix to the shrimp in a separate bowl until I thought I had a dense enough proportion of shrimp. Or you could scant the cream cheese and mayo a little. Or maybe you’d like the result just as it is. “Serve on your favorite crackers,” said Sharon. Or scoop it up with celery or carrots. Or your finger.
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons horseradish, or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons chili sauce, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 can tiny shrimp, drained
- Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, chili sauce, and lemon juice.
- Fold in the shrimp to mix evenly
- Chill and serve.