It’s time for a New Year’s toast! Bruschetta toasts, that is: these hors d’oeuvres deliver crowd-pleasing flavors in a festive package. The shrimp topping features cream cheese, scallions, and smoked paprika, which is dolloped onto warm baguette slices and given a sprinkling of melty cheese. There’s enough to serve about six guests—perfect for a cozy gathering. And better yet, these can be made in about 20 minutes, leaving you plenty of time for schmoozing with your guests.
Monterey Jack Cheese
Adjust rack so that it is about 4 inches from broiler and preheat broiler to high. Cut baguette into ½-inch thick slices (you should have about 12). Place on a baking sheet and a sprinkle on both sides with a large drizzle of olive oil.
Wash and dry all produce. Trim, then thinly slice scallions. Cut lemon into wedges.
Rinse shrimp, then pat dry with a paper towel. Put 1 TBSP butter and smoked paprika in a medium pot and heat over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted, add shrimp and half the scallions. Cook, stirring, until shrimp is starting to turn pink, about 2 minutes.
Remove shrimp from pot and transfer to a cutting board. Chop into small pieces. Reduce heat under pot to medium and add cream cheese and 2 TBSP water. Stir until smooth. Return shrimp to pot, then season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon.
Place sheet with baguette slices under broiler and broil until baguette is lightly toasted, 2-3 minutes. Divide shrimp mixture evenly between baguette slices, mounding it on top. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Return to broiler and continue broiling until cheese is melted and shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes.
Arrange bruschetta on a serving tray. Sprinkle with remaining scallions. Serve with remaining lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over.