For this rustic pot pie appetizer, I divided the filling into 4-ounce ramekins. You could use 8-ounce ramekins for a lunch portion or a casserole dish and serve family style. Puff pastry toppers, cooked separately, are added before serving.

RUSTIC SHRIMP POT PIES

• 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoons butter
• 1 cup chopped onions
• 2 large garlic cloves, minced
• 1/3 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
• 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
• 8 oz. clam juice or seafood stock
• 1 8 oz. potato, peeled and diced
• 1 1/2 pounds small, deveined, peeled uncooked shrimp cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 cup tiny frozen green peas, thawed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use the dish you are using as a guide for trimming the pastry. Place the pastry circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
Whisk cream and flour in a small bowl. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until tender. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add vermouth and simmer for 3 minutes to reduce by half. Add thyme.
Add clam juice and potato. Cook, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes.
Add cream/flour mixture and stir. Simmer until sauce boils and thickens. Reduce heat. Add shrimp and peas and simmer until shrimp are just opaque in the center, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide hot filling into the ramekins. Bake until filling bubbles, about 5 minutes.
Remove from oven. Let rest for a few minutes, top with the pastry toppers and serve immediately.

SHRIMP AND VEGGIES IN CREAM SAUCE OVER PUFF PASTRY SHELLS

This recipe will definitely wow your guests. The filling is creamy and decadent, and the presentation is beautiful.
• 10 oz. puff pastry shells, cooked according to package directions
For the sauce:
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 cup seafood stock or white wine
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
• 2 drops hot sauce
• A couple of grinds of black pepper
• Zest and juice of one lemon
• 1/4 cup water (optional)
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in flour and keep whisking until smooth and bubbly.
Remove from heat and add the shrimp stock and cream, a little
at a time. Keep whisking to keep the mixture smooth. Return to heat.
Bring the sauce to a gentle boil. Cook, constantly whisking, until it thickens. Add the Old Bay seasoning, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Turn off heat. Whisk in lemon zest and juice. Thin with water if necessary.

For the filling:

• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
• 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
• 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
• 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
• 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, cut into thirds
For an exquisite presentation, leave a few of the shrimp whole to garnish each serving. In a small skillet, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat, and cook shrimp until opaque.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onion, bell pepper and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Add mushrooms and cook 2 minutes. Add vegetables to the sauce mixture and blend thoroughly.
Reduce heat, add shrimp (stirring constantly) and cook until shrimp are opaque. Carefully blend shrimp into sauce and vegetables. Taste and add seasoning if needed.
Spoon filling into pastry shells. Top each serving with one whole shrimp. Garnish with chopped parsley.

— Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com for more than eight years. She won the Duke Mayonnaise 100th Anniversary nationwide recipe contest for her Alabama White BBQ Sauce. You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram and at fleurdelolly@yahoo.com.