This is one of those dishes that has been in the family for so long that my mother thinks she made it up. My parents used to entertain a lot, and every year we had a big gathering on Christmas day. (We're Jewish so we called it the Jingle Bells party.) This year, for the first time in many years, my siblings and I all made it back to New Orleans for Christmas, so we reprised the Jingle Bells party, complete with Aunt Julie's meatballs (http://www.food52.com/recipes...), my mother's egg salad sandwiches on white bread, and her shrimp dip. I'm not a fan of the egg salad, but this dip is really great--and of course you can adjust the seasoning to your taste.
How to prepare the shrimp is entirely up to you. We boil our shrimp in Zatarain's Crab boil--it comes in seasoning pouches and in liquid--you can add a tablespoon or two to the water in which you cook the shrimp. —drbabs
about 3 cups; can be multiplied
8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature (and my mother advises you not to use low-fat)
stick butter, room temperature (OK she uses margarine but that's just gross)
cooked shrimp (see headnote--we use Zatarain's crab boil), peeled, deveined and cut into small pieces
scallions, finely chopped
juice and zest of 1/2-1 lemon, depending on your taste
Tabasco (depending on how hot you like it)
Mix cream cheese and butter till well blended. Stir in shrimp, scallions, Worcestershire sauce. Add Tabasco a little at a time and taste till it is as hot as you like. Add salt and fresh-ground black pepper if needed. Stir till blended.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, and serve warm with crackers or toasted slices of French bread.