Shrimp and Crab Toast On French Baguettes with Fresh Plum Sauce

Course : Chinese
Serves: 4
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12 slices baguette -- French, sliced inch thick -- - sliced diagonally
1/4 pound shrimp -- fresh, shelled, deveined
1/4 pound crabmeat -- fresh
1 tablespoon ginger -- minced
1 tablespoon scallion -- minced, white and light green parts -- - only
1 tablespoon lard -- fresh, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt -- kosher
2 teaspoons wine -- Chinese, rice or
2 teaspoons sherry -- dry
2 teaspoons water
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water chestnuts -- fresh, - diced
1 large egg white stiffly beaten
1 teaspoon seeds -- sesame, black
1 Cup ham -- Smithfield, minced
1 bunch coriander -- fresh, whole
1 Cup oil -- corn or peanut (for frying)
1 jar sauce -- plum

Preparation / Directions:

Leave the baguette slices out on a rack overnight to dry, or place them in a low oven for about 10 minutes per side until dry to the touch. Mince the shrimp and crabmeat to a paste, then combine the paste minced ginger, minced scallion, lard, salt, rice wine, water, cornstarch, and water chestnuts stirring well in one direction to blend. Fold in the beaten egg white. Assembly: Using a broad-bladed sandwich spreader, mound the shrimp on the bread slice to a thickness of a scant 3/4 inch, tapering the mound where it meets the edge of the brad to form a smooth dome. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and ham bits thinly on top, then press on a single coriander leaf. Deep-fry, topping side down, in 350F oil until the topping is golden, about 4 minutes. Using long cooking chopsticks or tongs, turn the toasts to brown the underside of the baguette. Remove promptly to paper towels to drain. Serve with warm or cooled plum sauce. ** This plum sauce can be made from pureed soft plums simmered with sugar, rice vinegar and plum wine to taste.

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