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 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!