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This is a favorite spread, but it seems especially pretty in the Spring – the lovely curried cream cheese pairs so well with the soft, fluffy eggs. The shrimp is just the right touch and the green onion is fresh and gorgeous. It has just enough bite to meld with the other flavors. You’ll be the hit of the party when you walk in the door with this spread and a few crackers or sturdy Pita chips. (shown below is a half recipe)

Curried Shrimp Spread

Curried Shrimp Spread

So easy to throw together, it can literally be made in minutes (minus the cooking of the eggs.) If I’m toting this somewhere, I often mix up the spread on the bottom, then put the eggs, shrimp and sliced green onions, each in a small ziploc, and throw the layers on at my destination.

Although it sounds as if it might be expensive – it is shrimp, after all, this recipe just uses a small amount of the tiny cocktail shrimp. They can often be picked up in little frozen packets for about a dollar a piece on sale.

Curried Shrimp Spread, makes 2 cups, about a tablespoon per serving.

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, and up to 1 tablespoon, depending on taste
  • 1 egg, hard boiled and finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • 8 ounces small shrimp, chopped (I usually only use a fraction of this.)

Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice & curry powder.  Spread in a small shallow dish (a colorful one makes a nice presentation.) A deep dish is going to leave behind the bottom part of the spread when people dip.

Top with egg, shrimp and then the green onion.

Note:  I often use far less shrimp than is called for, often only a couple of ounces.  Sometimes the baby cocktail shrimp is really strongly flavored.

Kitchen & Cooking Hack:

If you need finely chopped eggs, use a cheese or box grater.

The eggs take seconds if grated rather than chopped

The eggs take seconds if grated rather than chopped

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my Strategies – You’ll see them all explained on the upper left tab of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Strategies Applied

 

  • Make it the night before – just add the shrimp, green onion and egg before serving. If you’re ready to make this and your cream cheese hasn’t been softened, pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, unwrapped. I almost always mix this in the same dish I serve it in.
  • I have a difficult time finely chopping the hard boiled eggs – I now rub them through the large holes of a box grater – you can do this right over the spread and have beautiful fluffy egg – and it takes only seconds to do.
  • Cream Cheese:  Regularly drops to a $1.00 on sale in my area, and even lower around Holidays, although these lower prices are often limited to one or two packages – get to know your rock bottom price and pick up multiple packages. Cream Cheese last for weeks in the fridge. Cost for this recipe:  $1.00
  • Sour Cream:  We regularly have on hand – it lasts much longer if you are careful to limit exposure to air and dirty silverware. Again, an item that lasts a long time and regularly goes on sale, with lowest dips during the Holidays. Cost 16 cents.
  • Lemon Juice:  Sometimes I’ll “fork” a lemon when I just need a small amount, especially if I’ll be using it for something else soon. Just barely stick the tines of the fork in and give it a little squeeze. You’ll always get more juice if you microwave for a few seconds, then roll on your counter top to burst open the membranes. Watch for lemons on sale, and they are at their cheapest in the winter. If I’m making a recipe that just needs a tiny amount, like this, and I don’t have any lemon on hand, I’ll use Real Lemon.  Cost: nominal.
  • Egg:  I do watch for sales on eggs, especially around holidays.  They are good for several weeks, so I’ll stock up at the lowest prices and try to ride it out to the next sale…I don’t always make it, but it helps.  Cost: 88 cents a dozen on a pre-Thanksgiving sale, 7 cents for this recipe. I make extra so I have them on hand for egg salad sandwiches or lunches.
  • Green Onion:  I bought a bunch on sale this summer, and have been keeping them in a glass – I trim them down and they regrow in 5 days or so. I’m on a mission to see how long I can make them last.  Cost:  Free
  • Shrimp:  On sale during the Holidays, Advent and Lent. 1/2 package of cocktail shrimp on sale $1.00 for 4 ounces. Cost:  50 cents.

Nutrition:

Per Servings: 72 Calories; 6g Fat (71.3% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 51mg Cholesterol; 68mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1 Fat.

why not try a paste instead of curry powder

why not try a paste instead of curry powder

Put Your own Spin on It:

  • This is really good spiced with the curry, but I would think Asian or Island flavors would work as well.
  • I’ve only just began experimenting with curry pastes in this dip, and so far love mild Thai green curry.
  • Serve this with crackers or pita, or your favorite dipper.  It might be very good on a toasted brown bread.  Can be doubled or tripled as needed.

My Pay Off:

Curried Shrimp Spread is a simple, time saving dish that always seems a bit more luxurious than you’d expect from the price. It’s always been popular at functions and potlucks. Because it’s made with ingredients I usually have on hand, its super easy to throw together.

Discussion:

Do you have an easy, frugal dip or spread you bring to parties or serve at a moments notice?  It might be time to start thinking about them now,  with Thanksgiving coming up.

Curried Shrimp Spread made in April 2012

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