How was everyone's long weekend? I hope everyone had time for some fun in the sun, but more importantly took a moment to thank or remember the brave men and women who have fought, or fight today, for our freedom.
Besides a little day trip to Raleigh, I spent the weekend relaxing, lounging at the beach enjoying the beautiful weather with my best friend Magen, and kicking off the season with some scrumptious summer food.
I always up my seafood game in the summer - maybe because I spend so much time near the ocean. Sunday night, I thought I'd whip up some Fried Shrimp and not only was it simple, but these crispy shrimp are super crunchy and flavorful. The tender shrimp are first soaked in buttermilk, hot sauce, and brightened up with lemon zest, then dredged in a combination of seasoned flour and cornmeal. The cornmeal creates a surprising, extra crisp texture.
For frying, I broke out the Fry Daddy I got as a wedding gift, but you could easily use a big pot of peanut oil to fry these. I would recommend monitoring the temperature because you'll notice when you add the shrimp the oil cools down significantly. I fried in batches and allowed the oil to return to 375 before adding more shrimp.
*1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined (I left tails on to for easy grabbing, but remove them if you prefer)
*2 c. buttermilk
*zest of 1 lemon
*8 dashes hot sauce (or more!)
*1 c. flour
*1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
*1 tsp. paprika
*1/2 tsp. salt
*1/2 tsp. pepper
*Peanut oil, for frying
In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, lemon zest, and hot sauce. Add the shrimp and stir so they are all coated. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, paprika, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
Preheat peanut oil to 375. Line a plate with paper towels and set aside. Remove shrimp individually, let the excess buttermilk drain off, then dredge in the flour mixture. Shake off any excess, then fry in batches (don't overcrowd the oil) for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until golden brown. Place on the paper towel lined plate to drain and cool. Repeat with remaining shrimp.
Serve with lemon wedges, cocktail sauce, and tartar sauce. Enjoy!