Monday, June 25, 2012

Fried Shrimp

For those of you who don't know, my mom travels sometimes for her job. My dad and I used to eat out a lot when she was out of town but we got tired of going to the same old places.  Now,  instead of eating out, my dad and I like to cook meals at home when mom is away.

One of the best things we have made lately is fried shrimp. Sounds simple, but there is a real art to cooking good fried shrimp.  We had never really tried cooking fried shrimp at home, but a while back we had extra uncooked shrimp in the fridge left over from a low country boil and we needed to use them before they spoiled.  My dad decided that he didn't want to just have plain old boiled shrimp, so he looked up a recipe for fried shrimp and took it from there. They were SOOOO good that I single-handedly ate 12 of them. Yeah, I know.  Wish you had some?  Well, I am here to give you the method for the best fried shrimp you will ever make!

Fresh shrimp
Start out with fresh, preferably local, peeled shrimp and make sure that they are really dry before you bread them.  Lay them on a paper towel and pat them dry before you start.  This way the breading will stick better.

 Next, take flour (about 1 cup for 1 lb. of shrimp) and season it with salt and pepper to taste.

Then you dredge the dry shrimp into the flour.
(Thanks to my dad for being a lovely hand model :))

After you dredge the shrimp in flour, dredge it in a beaten egg.

Finally, dredge it in cornmeal. The cornmeal is what makes the shrimp crunchy.

They should look like this when you are done.

After you finish breading, put some oil in a pan heated on medium to medium high heat and put the shrimp in.

Shrimp really do only take about a minute and a half to cook on one side -- maybe 2 minutes if the shrimp are particularly large -- but my dad does a minute and a half on each side and they are great every time!

After a minute and a half, they will be golden brown on one side. Flip them over and cook the other side for another minute and a half.

After 3 minutes total, take the shrimp out of the oil and drain on paper towels.   They should be golden brown on both sides.

Now I will let you in on a little secret that my mom loves! It is a dipping sauce that really tastes good on anything but is especially good on fried shrimp. The best part is, it is only two ingredients!

You only need coarse ground mustard and orange marmalade.

All you have to do is mix equal parts mustard to marmalade and you have a fabulous dipping sauce! The mustard gives it a bit of heat but is balanced perfectly by the sweet marmalade.

Believe it or not this is also a great dipping sauce just for plain pretzels!

It is optional to leave the tails on but I think it looks prettier and makes it easier to eat.

Now of course, this is not something you are going to eat every day, but when you do, you will wish you could eat it every day!  It truly is one of my favorite things that my dad has made for me.  Just the sheer beauty of fried food combined with that scrumptious dipping sauce makes this dish like heaven! If you try out the shrimp or dipping sauce (or both), leave me a comment telling me how you liked them. 

Until next time...

Happy Cooking!

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