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If you never had champagne grapes, then you are in for a real treat. These tiny, tightly clustered seedless grapes possess a deep plum-black color when ripe. And do not let their size fool you because these petite grapes are bursting with bold sweetness. We love their highly decorative look. They’re perfect to drape a small cluster from your Champagne flute. The good news is that beyond them being pretty, these flavor powerhouses can be used like any other berry.

While I love making homemade grape jelly, I wanted to try something a little more complex in flavor, but not complicated to make. The recipe that follows is for sautéed shrimp with shallots and champagne grapes. Whether you call it a chutney or relish, all I know for sure is that you will definitely call it delicious. Where do you get these little devils? We were lucky our friends over at Melissa’s Produce provided the grapes for this post and you can find them here.

I served this as an appetizer, but think adding this on top of a thick slice of crusty, chewy bread would totally work and turn it more into a meal.  Add your favorite leafy green salad and pop open the bubbly. Snap. Dinner is served.

Sautéed Shrimp with a Shallot and Champagne Grape Chutney

Sautéed Shrimp with a Shallot and Champagne Grape Chutney
Serves 2

3 strips of bacon
1 ½ pounds medium shrimp, cleaned
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
½ cup minced shallots
1 cup champagne grapes, washed, stemmed
1 large lime zested, juiced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
¼ cup white wine

1. Cut the bacon in thin matchstick pieces.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the bacon and allow the fat to render.  Once the bacon is cooked and crunchy (or to your liking) place the bacon on paper towels and allow to drain.

2. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat.  Heat the same pan over medium heat, and add the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until done, about 2-3 minutes each side.   Quickly remove the shrimp and cover to keep them warm.

3. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pan.  Add the shallots and allow to cook until soft, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the grapes, lime zest, lime juice and cilantro and allow to cook for about 5 more minutes, until some of the grapes have popped.

4. Add the white wine and allow to simmer until reduced by half.  Finish by adding in 1 tablespoon of butter and adjusting the seasoning.

5. Top/toss the shrimp with the shallot and champagne grape chutney and serve as is or with toasted bread.

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