Monday, October 31, 2011

Southern Fried Shrimp

Southern Fried Shrimp

Featured as a Guest Blogger on The B Keeps Us Honest

Okay, so in case you didn’t know it, I grew up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a small southern area right next to the ocean. My Pop Pop was a fisherman and a couple of my uncles were too. So naturally, we had our abundance of fresh seafood. I was definitely spoiled when it came to that area. I remember my Pop Pop had a shrimpin' boat by his house (which was right on the water). For a time, my sister and I stayed with them and one evening during out stay he and my Grandma Emma took us out for about a twenty minutes. I don’t remember how long it really was, I was 11 and it wasn’t a very long time…we were hungry J When we came back, Grandma made us some (for real) fresh shrimp. Talk about delicious! I loved her seafood, though she wasn't a southerner (she was from Canada) she cooked some amazing things (some not so amazing...that story for another day:) ) Well, I wish I would've gotten her recipe before she passed but I was a young newlywed and didn't think of it. So for a few years, I tried different recipes for Fried Shrimp and I was usually disappointed. The reason being that the recipes I tried were either too thick and took forever to cook making the shrimp taste rubbery and overcooked since they were made with egg and egg batters take longer to be fully cooked. OR the batter wouldn't stick and ended up falling off the shrimp. Consequently, I had quite a few failures UNTIL, I found THIS recipe from one of my favorites, Paula Deen. It’s such a great recipe! The breading is light and flaky and has just the right amount of flavor. The only thing different is that I just use vegetable oil or canola oil for frying and I cut down the pepper. My girls liked it, except they kept saying that their mouths were burning. Needless to say, they drank ALL of their milk that night and then some, LOL. Well, I hope you enjoy this recipe and though I cannot take all the credit, it has become a staple in my Recipe Book. Enjoy!


1 cup milk
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup hot sauce
2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 cup self-rising cornmeal
1 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
3 tablespoons salt
2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Canola or vegetable oil, for frying


Preheat oil to 375 degrees F. I actually used a thermometer this time, because my oil was way too preheated and I ended up burning some of the shrimp. I'll show you later...

Next, I peeled the shrimp (tail and all) because it's easier with kids and my DH to just have them already peeled so when it's time to eat, Mommy can enjoy her dinner in peace... :) I drained them then laid them out on a paper towel and patted dry.

Line a baking tray with paper towels and set aside. In a shallow baking dish, whisk together milk, buttermilk and Texas Pete. Tip* If you don't have buttermilk, then pour a cup of milk in a measuring cup, then add a tablespoon of vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes. I prefer to use the real thing, so I usually have it in my fridge, but if I forget, I've used this and it worked fine.  

In a separate shallow baking dish, whisk together flour, cornmeal, pepper and salt. Make sure your shrimp are dry and dredge in the dry mixture first,

Then dip them in the wet mixture and finally the dry mixture again. Shake off excess between each dredging.

Deep-fry in batches, but do not overload the fryer. Fry for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on the paper towel lined baking tray. So as I mentioned earlier, my oil was too hot. Here's what happened to my shrimp :( BUT, thermometer to the rescue! I lowered the heat, inserted the thermometer and just waited till the temperature got back to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Then it only takes 2 minutes. I actually love to make shrimp on a weeknight because it's such a quick cooking meal. I will usually have some broccoli steaming as I'm prepping and cooking and I fry up some hushpuppies in the same oil as the shrimp.

Also, serve with some homemade cocktail sauce. Just mix ketchup with a little bit of horseradish and a splash of lemon juice and Voila! Delicious cocktail sauce!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Okay, so growing up in a coastal southern town with seafood a'plenty one of the common breads served with meals at any seafood restaurant is this delicious fried cornbread-type fritter called a hushpuppy. Where the name came from? I don't know.'s so delicious you just can't eat one. When I first moved up north I remember trying to find a mix for making hushpuppies and I went from store to store. I even asked the employees if they had any and usually the response? "What are hushpuppies?" Really? It was pretty strange since it was such a common thing in NC. Well anyway, I finally discovered Paula Deen's recipe which is about identical to a million others. I guess it's the basic recipe. Typically it is fried in the oil of whatever seafood you are already frying or you can fry them on their own. I like to serve them with some homemade honey butter to dip them in. The sweetness makes them even harder to resist.


6 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups self-rising cornmeal
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small onion, grated
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten


Using a deep pot, preheat oil for frying to 350 degrees F.

Using a mixing bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt. Use a box grater to grate the onion. I like it grated better because it's finer and the you don't have any crunch. I have tried to make them without onions as well as with onion powder because DH is not a fan of onion. But let me tell ya, there is a big difference. It's just not worth it. Stir in the onion.

In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and egg. I usually crack the egg into something else before pouring in any batter. It makes fishing out any unwanted eggshell a whole lot easier.

Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Using two spoons drop the batter, 1 teaspoon at a time, into the oil.

I usually will scoop some batter with one teaspoon, then with the other teaspoon gently press on one side to make the hushpuppy a little smooth and scrape off into the hot oil. Just be careful not to splash yourself.

Fry until golden brown, turning the hushpuppies during the cooking process.

In a microwave safe bowl mix some honey and butter. Melt for 30 seconds and stir. Serve the hushpuppies with your meal accompanied with the honey  butter. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

French Silk Pie

Okay, so this next recipe is amazing! Not to brag or just is. However, if you are counting calories, then I think you may want to move on. But, if you are a chocolate lover then this recipe is yours!
I first started making French silk pie a couple of years ago. I always loved it but didn't know how to make it so I started a recipe hunt and found one I liked. At first I felt this recipe was too rich with the silk all by itself but then I decided to tweak it a bit. I added a ganache layer to it and a cool whip layer and it turned out incredible.... Is your mouth watering yet?
Well, currently I work at a daycare and when trying out new recipes I sometimes use my coworkers as guinea pigs. After bringing it in, I now have to make this at least twice a year because my boss loved it. (my boss happens to be one of my best friends...soo...I'm pretty lucky) So now I make it every year for him for his birthday and for boss's day...(so he's pretty lucky too..ha ha.) Normally I make two of any dessert that leaves the house however DH doesn't like my silk pie because he's not a big chocoholic like me, sooo both pies go to my boss/bff. (I am required to make DH a replacement dessert though, so he doesn't feel left out;) usually chocolate cake with vanilla icing or my carrot cake).

Originally this recipe made only one pie, but the way I make it with the ganache and cool whip, I split it into two pies. Then it's only half the calories...yay! LOL... To learn how to make the ganache I actually watched a bunch of youtube videos and looked at different recipes. Also, I make my own crust depending on how much time or motivation I have. Sometimes I use store bought crust They are good...but nothing is like homemade. The refrigerated crust is never as flaky or tasty. SO...without further's the recipe....

2 prepared 8 inch pastry shell, baked and cooled
1 container cool whip

Silk Filling:
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 (1oz.) squares unsweetened baking chocolate melted and cooled
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
12 oz. semisweet morsels
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 T. butter

Like I mentioned above, I usually make my own pie crust. I will post a link to that once I have it finished. If you don't want to do that, then get the refrigerated crust and bake it first. Or at least have it baking while you are preparing the next elements.

For the Ganache Layer:

In a microwave safe bowl add the chocolate chips and heavy cream.

Microwave 2-3 minutes. Mix together with a whisk to melt.
Add the butter and mix well.
Let sit for at least 20 minutes. Using a hand mixer. Mix on med for 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

Silk Filling Directions:

Unwrap and place the bakers chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in increments in a microwave, stirring to help the melting process. Once the chocolate is melted, place in the fridge to cool for at least ten minutes. You want it thoroughly cooled so it doesn't cook the eggs. *Warning* Do NOT lick your fingers! You will not be happy!

So here is my stand mixer. It's my KitchenAid wannabe. This recipe is definitely one I probably wouldn't make if I didn't have one of these unless I recruited DH or someone else to tag team with the mixer duties. You'll see why as the recipe progresses.

What you want to do next is to cream your room temperature butter in the stand mixer. Then gradually beat in the sugar until light colored and well blended. If you are planning to make this, just set the butter out earlier in the day. It'll make life so much easier.

Next, stir in the thoroughly cooled chocolate (remember, we don't want any cooked eggs) and the vanilla.

Then we begin with the eggs. Here's a tip I always use. When adding an egg to any batter always crack the egg in a separate dish first. That way if you happen to drop a piece of eggshell, it's easier to fish out of the bowl than the batter. Now what you do is add one egg at a time.

Set a timer for 5 minutes. Let the stand mixer do all the work. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally, but make sure you add one egg at a time. Since there are 4 eggs this will take about 20 minutes. Don't worry, the filling will look grainy for most of the time until you add the final egg. Then...voila...silky smooth...hence the "Silk" pie.

Here's the batter after an egg or two, then after it's all done.

In your cooked pie crust, add a layer of the ganache. (Using a cake spreader is the easier tool if you have it.) Then add half of the silk filling.

Here's my two pies divided. Then gently add a layer of cool whip. I use an entire container between the two pies.

After the pies are finished you can add some finishing touches. Take a drinking glass and insert a pastry bag with tip already inserted. Fold down the top half of the open end over the glass. Add the whipped ganache and pull the bag away from the cup gently. This helps keep the pastry bag clean and is the easiest way to fill it.

Next is the fun part. Decorate it however you like. You can write a message or just add starbursts all over the top. The world is your oyster...go with it. I will just say this though...the ganache is the best part.
Well, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. It does take some time and effort to prepare, but some of the best things (and people) in life are just worth the effort. :)
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