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Shrimp Cake Stacks

July 25, 2009

~ Katy ~

I unexpectedly had the afternoon off and was able to throw together a dinner party since Dave, Warren, Gary, Tim and Micheal (yes, that’s how his name is spelled) were all available for dinner on the deck.  When I’m invited to their homes, they always entertain beautifully with amazing menus and lots of good conversation.  Plenty of laughter, too.  So, instead of just throwing something on the grill, I thought I’d try a new stack recipe.  Holy cow, am I glad I did!  This combination was absolutely sweet and delicious!  They were a big hit.


Gwaren, Katy & Gary

Warren, Katy & Gary



Dave katy & Tim

Dave, Katy & Tim

Since there are more stack recipes to come, I should add that while these look complicated, they aren’t at all difficult.  The first time through the recipe is always the most challenging, but once you have it down, they’re very easy to make again and again.  They just take a bit of time, but the presentation is worth it.  I tend to double the recipes in case anyone wants seconds and because I love to have leftovers.  This recipe, doubled, served dinner twice, as I had the family over for dinner the following night.  Gannon wasn’t a big fan, but Emma, JP, Kori and Tess enjoyed the stacks.




Shrimp Cake Stacks

6 Servings adapted from: Stacks the Art of Vertical Food

Shrimp Cakes

3 Tablespoons butter

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup chopped shallots

1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper

1.5 pounds raw shrimp

1/2 pound small scallops, chopped

1 ear fresh corn, cleaned and kernels removed

1.5 cups fresh bread crumbs

3 small eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

1/4 teaspoon paprika (I add more)

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro



2 # asparagus washed and stemmed

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cups chopped shallots


Sweet Potato Puree

2 sweet potatoes

1 Tablespoon butter

Pinch of cardamom

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Mango-Orange Salsa (recipe follows)

2 Tbsp minced parsley, for garnish (optional)

2 Tbsp minced, thyme, for garnish (optional)

6 Tablespoons minced mango


Planning Ahead

-Prepare the shrimp, pack it into the cylinders early in the day, and chill.

-Prepare the sweet potatoes up to 2 hours ahead and keep them warm in a double boiler.

-Prepare the salsa 2-4 hours ahead and chill.


Advance Preparation

To make the shrimp cakes, melt the butter with the olive oil in a large skillet and saute the green onions, shallots, and peppers until soft. Cool slightly.  Mix together the onion-pepper mixturewith the shrimp, scallops, corn, bread crumbs, eggs, thyme, paprika and cilantro.  Set aside.

To make the asparagus, dice 20 spears and saute in the olive oil with the shallots until just cooked through but still crisp, about 4 minutes.  Set aside.

To make the sweet potato puree, preheat the oven to 375.  Bake the sweet potatoes for 45 minutes, or until soft.  Cut them in half and scoop out the soft insides. Mix with butter, cardamom, and salt and pepper.  Whip until smooth and keep warm. 



Preheat oven to 375°

Spray 6 stack cylinders (soup cans with both ends removed work for this, too) with vegetable spray and place them on a sheet pan.  Spread 1/4 cup shrimp mixture on the bottom of each cylinder and then a layer of asparagus.  Repeat the layers and top with a third layer of shrimp.  Press down firmly.  (The stack kit includes a “press” for this.  You can also use the lid of a soup can to press the layers.)  In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat.  Using a spatula, carefully transfer the stacks to the skillet and saute for 3 minutes.  Place the skillet and stacks in the oven and bake 15 minutes.  Remove and let the stacks set for 5 minutes.  The shrimp should feel firm to the touch.  While stacks are setting, parboil the remaining asparagus spears until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.  Drain.

To serve, using a spatula, transfer each stack to 6 serving plates.  Unmold, top each stack with a dollop of sweet potato puree, arrange 3 asparagus spears in a triangle around the base of each stack, and place a tablespoon of Mango-Orange Salsa at each corner.  Sprinkle each with with a little parsley, thyme, or mango and serve immediately.


This recipe will be in it’s own post in a couple weeks but we didn’t want you to miss out if you absolutely NEEDED to make the whole kit and kaboodle!

Mango-Orange Slasa
2 mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1/4 pineapple, peeled, cored and diced
3 Tablespoons finely diced whole green onions
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 orange, peeled and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1.5 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1.5 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Combine all of the ingredients and chill for 2 to 3 hours.  Bring to room temperature before serving.  This salsa was so good that I’ll be making it as a side for other dishes, as well.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. July 25, 2009 7:45 pm

    I talked to Kate on the phone today – she was GOBSMACKED over this recipe!
    She assured me it only took her 4 Hours to make and that INCLUDED the grocery shopping!

  2. July 26, 2009 12:12 pm

    I have never made a “stack” but these do look worth the time – outstandingly scrumptious. All those grand ingredients!

  3. July 26, 2009 1:39 pm

    Great food AND great pictures!!
    I have been wanting to make some “stackers” so maybe I can give these a try.
    And thank your friend “Micheal” for spelling his name correctly…at least as far as I’M concerned!!
    (WHen I taught school a few years back, I had a preschooler named MichAEL and I always would spell it MichEAL..his mom wasn’t amused.)

  4. My Food and Life Encounters permalink
    July 26, 2009 2:44 pm

    I am totally making this…Thank you.
    The pics are beautiful.

  5. July 26, 2009 4:52 pm


  6. July 27, 2009 6:40 am

    Beautiful presentation. Have saved this to my favs…a lot going on with flavor and texture combinations.

  7. July 27, 2009 7:43 am

    Looks like you guys had a great time. That is the first time I hear about Stacks and I will try it soon!

  8. July 27, 2009 8:55 am

    I cannot wait to try these! Thanks for sharing and the pictures are great!

  9. July 27, 2009 9:23 am

    Wow, really nice presentation and the colors, textures and flavors look really great together.

  10. July 27, 2009 1:13 pm

    Wow what a spectacular dish to serve at a dinner party. I love it.

  11. July 27, 2009 10:15 pm

    that looks absolutely amazing. it seems like it takes a while to do though..perhaps I will dedicate more time on it if I want to make this for a party!

  12. July 27, 2009 10:17 pm

    Love it! Great photos! Check out my blog… I nominated you for the Kreative Blogger Award! :o)

  13. July 27, 2009 10:36 pm

    that looks so delicious and pretty!

  14. July 28, 2009 2:50 am

    WOW! This one is a winner.

  15. July 28, 2009 7:43 am

    Beautiful. I have some presentation molds I have never used. Now I know I never need those in the first place. I’m anxious to try these and may do so next weekend when my kids all come to do our 40th anniversary party. These will be waiting for them on our first meal together. — Sherry

  16. July 28, 2009 8:31 am

    These look fantastic. I’m always amazed when I see something look so creative and delicious at the same time.

  17. July 28, 2009 3:12 pm

    wonderful presentation and very creative, i love it!

  18. July 28, 2009 10:18 pm

    I absolutely love your blog and will be trying this recipe very soon. (I also like the 3rd pic: it looks like your friend’s hair is ablaze!) 🙂

  19. Astrochef permalink
    July 30, 2009 5:52 am

    I will be trying this one out at the weekend, it looks absolutely yummy.

  20. November 2, 2009 8:06 am

    These look wonderful, I will definatley try soon! Thank you!


  1. Mango-Orange Slasa «

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