Thursday, October 30, 2008

Whisk Wednesdays—Beignets de Langoustines or Crevettes (Langoustine or Shrimp Fritters)

Beignets de Crevettes (Shrimp Fritters)More deep-frying this week. I swear, my doctor isn't going to be pleased with this curriculum I'm working through. Butter, deep frying, plus all the treats I'm making for Tuesdays with Dorie and Daring Bakers. I usually like to "hibernate" in winter and worry about beaches and bathing suits in Spring, but I really should start my workout regimen now given how much damage I've been doing lately.

Here's a bit of background about deep frying and me. When I was met my husband, he was living with some roommates during university who loved the mini countertop deep-fryer they shared. They would deep-fry everything, including broccoli, and they'd never change the oil. "The dirtier, the better," they would declare. And then, one of the first appliances my husband wanted to buy after getting married was a countertop deep-fryer. We kept it for awhile, deep frying the occasional bag of frozen French fries. But, I never liked the smell of fried food in the house so we would have to plug it in on the deck outside (even in winter!). I finally got rid of it in a garage sale. When I was pregnant, my sensitivity to smell heightened even more, and I had to open all the windows and close our bedroom door lest any cooking smells made their way up there and cause fitful, restless sleep. More recently, I have been deep frying lots of food and almost had a kitchen fire when the oil bubbled over onto the stove. So, you see, deep frying is not something I really like to do. But it's something I've been doing a lot of lately (from fries to fish to pizza dough and now shrimp). I still don't like the smell, but I love the crunch, so is it worth it? Now and then, I guess.

How To
This week it's deep-fried shrimp that's been marinated, battered and fried. Although the recipe called for langoustines, I found shrimp easily at the big box grocery store and stuck with that. First, I marinated the shrimp in lemon, parsley and olive oil for about an hour. While it was marinating, I prepared the batter.

The batter called for both flour and potato flour. I had some potato flour, but not enough so I used regular flour as a substitute. To the flours, I added baking powder for leavener, salt for flavor, water to lighten the batter, and olive oil to keep it from forming a crust. I actually added an extra cup of water since it seemed more like dough than batter before that. After resting this mixture for 1 hour, I added whipped egg whites for more leavener and lightness.

Then, I dipped the shrimp in the batter and lowered them into the hot 350˚F oil to cook until golden brown, which didn't take very long.

Although I was supposed to make a fancy tartar sauce to go with this, I made one a couple weeks ago and didn't want to make another version. Instead of adding even more fat to my diet, I blended some Hellman's Mayonnaise and Kraft Thousand Island dressing and made a just-as-good dipping sauce for my shrimp, and probably just as fatty!


Beignets de Crevettes (Shrimp Fritters) mise en placeYou can find the recipe for Beignets de Langoustines or Crevettes (Langoustine or Shrimp Fritters) in the book Le Cordon Bleu at Home. To see how the rest of the Whisk Wednesdays group fared with their recipe, click here (or check out the sidebar) and then click on each blogger!

Beignets de Crevettes (Shrimp Fritters)Tasting Notes
These were crispy and delicious dipped into my easy "tartar" sauce. I have about 2 cups left of batter. Should I deep fry some more food? I don't know. It's wintry and blustery and cold to open all the windows in the house now!

Today was the first (and a very early) snow day in Ottawa. Although the kids hoped for an official snow day where they could stay home from school, it was not as bad as predicted by the weather officials who thought it would be a "Humdinger" of a snow storm so they had to go to school after all. I got to use this snowflake plate (thanks, Mom!), however, to represent this auspicious but depressing day and photograph my shrimp in the snow.

Next Week (November 5)
• Pavés de Rumsteak au Poivre Vert (Sirloin Steaks with Green Peppercorns) pages 127-128

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Running total: $811.80 + $12.00 (shrimp) + $5.45 (marinade and batter) = $829.25

Butter used so far: 8 pounds, 3 tablespoons

. . . . . . . . . .
::Whisk Wednesdays::
We're cooking our way through a cooking school curriculum using the Le Cordon Bleu at Home cookbook. The "classes" are based on the Le Cordon Bleu curriculum found online and used as a guideline. Not all the items in the curriculum are in the cookbook, but most are. Where the items are not in the book, we try to find a suitable substitution. Find out more here.


Manggy said...

Beautiful pictures Shari! I have an affinity for deep-fried seafood :) I'm sure your doctor would have less of a problem if it was dipped in, say, sweet and sour sauce :)

Shelby said...

Looks awesome! I wish I had some!

Cathy said...

These look fantastic! I say that if you're going to fry, might as well make it something special! I know that me + vat of hot oil = dangerous combo, but I am still tempted to live on the edge and give this one a try!

Carmen Cooks said...

WOW - these look soooo good!

NKP said...

Absolutely breathtaking. You have turned the battered shrimp into a work of art. I love your photography.
I gave up on the deep fryer a while ago, I find it easier to deep fry in a ss wok.
I just threw all my shrimp in the batter and pulled them out one by one with a fork into the oil.
Hubby is loving this part of the course! Cheers.

Anonymous said...

These look so good! I am also a big fan of crunch but I open all the windows if I am frying something.

Y said...

Those shrimp fritters look great. I'm not a fan of deep frying food myself.. and loathe the smell too, but I certainly wouldn't say no to a well fried chip, or even one of those beignets :)

Sharon said...

I cannot imagine anything I'd rather have right now. These look amazing!

natalia said...

Ciao ! my son Carlo fell in love lately with fritto di mare so I guess your shrimp would be the perfect dinner for him (and us) tonight !!!

Mrs Ergül said...

I'm liking your blog! Love these shrimp fritters! Shrimp is my favourite seafood (other than salmon) and I love all things fried! Yummy delicious!

Shari said...

manggy - Good idea. I'll have to do that next time. Thanks, doc!

honeyb - Wish I could share some with you!

cathy - Live on the edge (with a fire extinguisher)!

carmen cooks - Thanks!

natashya - I don't have a ss wok. Another thing to add to my wishlist!

jillilan - Lighting a candle helps too!

y - I don't mind it as long as not in my house. ;)

sharon - They were tasty!

natalia - Give it a try. It's not that hard.

mrs ergul - I love shrimp too!

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by!