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.
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!
You 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!
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
. . . . . . . . . .
Running total: $811.80 + $12.00 (shrimp) + $5.45 (marinade and batter) = $829.25
Butter used so far: 8 pounds, 3 tablespoons
. . . . . . . . . .
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.