Peter bought me Aaron Sanchez’s new cookbook ~ Simple Food, Big Flavor. He focus’s on Mexican street food – which if you’ve been to Mexico, the street vendors are where you get some of your most amazing and interesting food! We had gone to the […]
When I do get to watch some TV…I usually watch a cooking show, ( I know surprise, surprise!) Alex’s Day Off, on the Cooking Channel www.cookingchanneltv.com/shows/alexs-day-off.html is one of my favorites! For this particular show Battered Shrimp I was very excited, because I’m consistently looking for a good basic batter. Since, my husband is from Ireland, he does crave a good fish fry once in a while…
You wrap basil around the shrimp before dipping them into the batter, which somehow makes it seem “healthier!” But…after they are all puffed and golden and you bite into one, you can taste and see the basil. ~Yum! I made a dipping sauce to go with, but it’s not necessary!
Here’s a little background on Alex Guarnaschelli…And I so wish I would have gone to Butter while I was in NYC ~ another trip!
In 2003, Guarnaschelli was given the opportunity to expand her repertoire and become the executive chef at Butter Restaurant, where she would create her own eclectic American and green market-inspired menu. In addition to her restaurant work, Guarnaschelli inspires budding chefs as a Chef-Instructor at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education. Guarnaschelli is also helming the kitchen of the NYC modern dining and cabaret concept, The Darby.
Chef Guarnaschelli is a recurring judge on the popular prime-time series Chopped and is featured on her own shows, The Cooking Loft and Alex’s Day Off, which launched in October 2009. She has appeared on Food Network’s Iron Chef America as both a challenger and a judge and competed on season 4 of The Next Iron Chef. In 2012, she bested nine rival chefs to win The Next Iron Chef: Redemption and joined the ranks of Kitchen Stadium Iron Chefs.
TOTAL TIME: 40 min
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings
1 (8-ounce) bottle beer (recommended: Heineken)
1 (2-ounce) ” shot” vodka (the cheaper the better)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little extra, if needed
1 tablespoon paprika
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 pound “16/20” size shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails attached
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups vegetable oil About 20 basil leaves, stemmed, washed and dried
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Pour the beer into a medium-size bowl and stir in the vodka. Slowly whisk in the flour and the paprika. The batter should be fairly thick, but also easy to stir. Set aside in a warm place. “Press” the garlic clove into another bowl and stir in the olive oil and shrimp. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside. Pour the oil into a heavy-bottomed pot (or, alternatively, a deep-fryer). Heat the oil slowly to 370 F. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. Line a baking sheet with a kitchen towel or paper towels to drain the shrimp once they are cooked.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Arrange the basil leaves on a sheet pan. Put the pan in the oven for 2 minutes, just to wilt the basil a bit, if the basil is young and tender this step is not necessary. Wrap a basil leaf around the middle of each shrimp like a belt. When ready to serve, dip the shrimp into the batter and drop, in small batches, into the oil. Fry until crispy, turning on both sides with a slotted metal spoon. Add the lemons into the oil and fry until crispy. Drain them on the lined baking sheet and season immediately with salt. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.