11/30/12 - Gift Wrapped Shrimp Bites

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12 medium uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon favorite spice rub

1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

1 jar (6 ounces) roasted red peppers

6 to 12 green onions, depending on size

Roll each shrimp into a round shape, with tail on outside. Skewer each rolled shrimp with a toothpick through the diameter, so that shrimp hold their round shape.

Heat a saute pan to medium high heat. Add oil. Coat shrimp with spices and then saute just until opaque, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Remove from pan and let cool to warm. Cut 12 strips of the green portion of the green onions off, keeping the green portion intact and as long length as possible. Heat green onion strips in pan until just softened and bendable, about 1 minute, turning frequently. Remove from pan and let cool to warm.

Cut bell pepper strips into long thin strips and wrap strips around shrimp. Wrap green onion strips around shrimp and tie in a bow or in a knot.

Serve warm.

Creamy Pesto Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

1 pint cherry tomatoes, rinsed & dried

1 ½ cup whipped cream cheese

½ cup pesto

¼ pine nuts

15 whole basil leaves

In a medium size mixing bowl, gently fold pesto into whipped cream cheese and place into piping bag, then place in refrigerator. Cut off the top of the cherry tomatoes. Using a small melon scoop, gently remove the inside. On a serving platter, line up the whole basil leaves into rows and place the tomatoes on top, one on each leaf. Remove the creamy pesto from the refrigerator and pipe into each tomato. Top with a few pine nuts and serve.