Yield: 20 to 24 appetizer servings
1 oz. butter
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
½ tsp. tarragon
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ c. tomato paste
2 c. shrimp shells
2 oz. brandy
4 c. heavy cream
2 c. whole milk
Salt and white pepper, to taste
1 ½ lbs. Oregon bay shrimp, well drained
1 lb. Oregon bay shrimp, for garnish
Micro greens, for garnish
Lemon butter, for garnish
Chive Oil, for garnish
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease 20 to 24 (4 oz.) ramekins and set aside. Melt butter in a medium size pot and add the onion, tarragon, cayenne and tomato paste, and allow to cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the shrimp shells and continue to cook until the shells
have turned pink. Deglaze the pan with the brandy, then add the cream and milk and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow all the flavors to infuse for about 30 minutes.
With a hand blender, puree the cream mixture. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs well, then add to the cooled cream mixture and mix well. Strain through a very fine mesh strainer, pushing down gently on the solids to extract all the liquid. Check seasonings and adjust as necessary. Place about 1 oz. of bay shrimp in each prepared ramekin and fill with the cream and egg mixture. Place ramekins in a deep sided pan and fill the pan half way up the sides of the ramekins with warm water. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven to bake for 45 to 60 minutes. When they are done, they will be set, but wiggle like Jell-O. Unmold onto individual plates and garnish as desired with micro greens, lemon butter, chive oil and additional bay shrimp.
The custard mixture can be made several days in advance and refrigerated until needed. The cooked custards can be made a day in advance an
d reheated just before serving in a warm water bath or steamer, being careful to not cook them, but just warm them.