Crunchy Cocktail Shrimp
Source of Recipe
From "Southern Fried" by James Villas
"In the South, any occasion is right for fried shrimp, this zesty version being only one example of shrimp as the perfect cocktail food. The best way to crush the crackers is to place them in a plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin to a fairly fine consistency, and for a little extra flavor, you might want to substitute a more buttery cracker than saltines. This is one shrimp appetizer that calls for no sauce, and is served simply with toothpicks. The recipe is equally delicious for small, shelled, thawed frozen crawfish if you're able to find some in the market."
List of Ingredients
• ½ cup buttermilk
• 1 large egg
• ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
• ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
• Pinch of powdered dried fennel
• 1½ cups crushed saltine crackers
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• ½ tsp salt
• ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
• Peanut or safflower oil for deep frying
• 2 pounds fresh shrimp, shelled and deveined
In a bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg, lemon juice, Worcestershire, and fennel, whisk together till well blended, and set aside.
In a shallow dish, combine the cracker crumbs, flour, salt, and cayenne, and mix till well blended.
In a large stainless steel or aluminum saucepan, heat about 2 inches of oil to 365°F on a deep-fat thermometer. Dip the shrimp in the buttermilk batter, dredge lightly in the crumb mixture, fry in batches in the oil till golden, about 2 minutes, and drain on paper towels. Serve as hot as possible with toothpicks.
Makes 6 to 8 servings