Cooking Louisiana - Fried Shrimp

Fried shrimp are a popular dish all around the country. Just watch the TV commercials! This is a "tight crust" recipe so greasiness is at a minimum. I'm not wild about the thick crusted shrimp anyway, too much stuff between the shrimp and my tongue! 

This recipe will fry about 2 doz. shrimp. 

Shrimp preparation:

De-vein and wash the shrimp and keep them cool. That's it. Now, if you want to do another treat you'll have to have shrimp (21 - 25 count work best, no smaller) with the heads on. Simply pop the head from the shrimp, pull the chest with legs (that's the part you will fry) away from the head, rinse and you're ready to go.

Wet mix
2 eggs
2/3 cup of milk
1 tbs. Creole Seasoning (your choice)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Put shrimp in liquid mix. Mix it all up and marinade it for 30 or more minutes in the ice box. 

Dry Mix
2 cups corn flour or fish fry, or just plain flour. If you want some fluffiness substitute the flour with busquick.
3/4 cup cornstarch (makes it stick better)
2 Tbs. Creole Seasoning
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 tsp. Cayenne
1 tsp lemon and pepper seasoning
1 tbs. dried parsley

Don't hesitate to adjust any of the above to your liking...

Cooking:

Dredge the shrimp in the dry mix and let sit a minute or so moving them around just a little. Using a paper bag works good for this too. Just drop the shrimp in and shake it up a few times. 

Use peanut oil, about 2" in the pan depending upon the pan depth. Heat to 375F (hot oil will burn you badly, be careful). Place shrimp in the oil a few at a time leaving at least a 1/2" space between pieces. Why? If you pack the pan with too much meat the oil cools too much and that equals soggy shrimp (not good). Stir them around every 10 seconds or so.

Timing: Cook them about 3 minutes. I watch the bubbling to judge the doneness, I don't time it. Let them fry until they bubble lightly. If they quit bubbling completely they're overcooked. With practice you can get each piece done perfectly. You cannot tell how done the shrimp are by the outer color, it's all in the bubbles! Check this out....Remove the shrimp and place on paper towels. Move them around so the grease is soaked up. Taste one once they're cooled a little to see if you need to add any seasoning. Transfer them to another pan with more paper towels and cover with paper towels. 

Let the oil come back to 350F for the next batch! Remember, the oil cools as you cook. If you don't have a frying thermometer get one, guessing just don't get it! If the oil gets too hot turn the fire off and let it cool to the right temperature. If the oil smokes you've probably ruined it. A thermometer prevents all of this trouble.

 

Note: To keep the food warm put the oven on 200F (or as low as it will go) and let it warm up about 15 minutes. Cover the shrimp with paper towels (not plastic wrap) or loosely with  foil, turn the oven off, and put the pan in the oven. If you seal the pan with plastic wrap or foil the shrimp will become soggy. If you leave the oven on it will dry out too much. This only works for so long. After a few re-heats the shrimp will dry out anyway.

This is just the way I fry shrimp and I'd like to see the way you do it. Send me your recipe.

Enjoy.....
Jack

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