This winning entry in the Newport competition shows how traditional caveats can be thrown out the window when it comes to Champagne-enhancing hors d’oeuvres.
Champagne recommendations: A medium-weight, yeasty-toasty Champagne like Charles Heidsieck’s 1995 Mis-en-Cave Brut sparkles alongside this colorful dish.
- For the filling:
- 4 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 garlic cloves
- 5 mild green chilies, stems and seeds removed
- 1/2 cup pine nuts (pignoli)
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, plus additional sprigs for garnish
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
- For the cups:
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 5 1/2 ounces unsalted butter
- 4 1/2 ounces blue cornmeal
- 12 ounces all-purpose flour (sifted)
- Salt and pepper to taste
To make filling: In a food processor, mix Parmesan cheese and garlic until blended. Add chilies, pine nuts, parsley, cilantro and okive oil; process to smooth paste Roughly chop the shrimp and toss them with the pesto. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread shrimp mixture evenly on a sheet pan and bake, uncovered, about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. When it reaches room temperature, mix in diced mango.
To make cups: In a standing mixer or by hand, beat cream cheese and butter until soft. Beat in dry ingredients, but be careful not to overwork. Coat three mini muffin tins (36 cups) with nonstick cooking spray. Place 1 level tablespoon of the blue corn mixture into each prepared cup; press to coat the bottom and sides with dough. You should have enough dough to make at least 36 cups. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool.
To assemble: Roll shrimp mixture into small balls and place into cups (or simply spoon the mixture into the cups). Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs.