Thursday, July 16, 2015

Buffalo Shrimp with Lemon Chive Dip

     Buffalo Shrimp! 
     I was cooking in Florida restaurants when the Buffalo Wings craze spread nationwide.  It did not take long for somebody at a Florida seafood restaurant to think of substituting fresh shrimp for chicken wings.  Back in the day, Buffalo Shrimp actually outsold Buffalo Wings in many Gulf Coast restaurants.
     A flour coating is necessary for buffalo shrimp, so the shrimp will be crisp and also so they will be able to pick up the sauce.  The secret to making good buffalo shrimp is to get the oil heated to the correct temperature before frying.
     A frying oil temperature of 350ºF is the restaurant industry standard.  Deep fryers that have a 5 gallon oil capacity have a very quick oil temperature recovery time.  When 2 full baskets of French Fries are placed in the deep fryer, the oil temperature will barely fluctuate.
     Small batch frying is affected by oil temperature recovery time.  When 2 portions of French Fries are placed in 1/2 gallon of 350ºF frying oil, the temperature can drop nearly 10º to 20º.  Any frying temperature below 350ºF will result in greasy fried food and the food item will cooked unevenly.
     This is why I always suggest small batch deep frying at a 360ºF temperature in my recipes.  The extra 10º reduces the oil temperature recovering time.  The 10 extra degrees is also not hot enough to singe or burn the coating on fried food items, like breaded shrimp or beer batter fish.

     Buffalo Shrimp Sauce: 
     This recipe yields enough sauce for 1 Buffalo Shrimp Appetizer.
     Step 1:  Place 1/4 cup of mild Louisiana Style Cayenne Hot Sauce in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoon of Korean style Coarse Ground Red Serrano Chile Pepper Paste.  (Sambal)
     *Add 1 tablespoon of habanero hot sauce.  (Optional for extra spicy hot!)
     Add 1 pinch of white pepper and black pepper.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of ancho chili powder.
     Add 2 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of Bottled BBQ Sauce.  (A sauce like the Original Cattleman's BBQ Sauce is okay, but some home made BBQ sauce is better!)
     Add 1 tablespoon of honey.
     Taste and add sea salt if necessary.
     Step 2:  Mix the buffalo sauce ingredients together.
     Set the mixing bowl and sauce aside.

     Lemon Chive Dressing:
     This recipe yields enough to accompany 2 Buffalo Shrimp appetizers.
     Step 1:  Place 2 ounces of mayonnaise in a small mixing bowl.
     Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1 pinch of white pepper.
     Add 1 tablespoon of thin sliced chives.
     Add 1 tablespoon of milk.
     Add sea salt to taste.
     Step 2:  Mix the ingredients together.
     Place the dressing in a small ramekin and keep it chilled till it is needed.

     Seasoned Flour:
     Season 1 cup of flour in a mixing bowl with:
     - 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
     - 1/4 teaspoon of paprika
     - 1 pinch of white pepper
     - 1 pinch of black pepper
     - 1 pinch of onion powder
     - 1 pinch of garlic powder
     - 1 pinch of sea salt
     Mix the ingredients together.

     Set-Up Plate:
     Set the plate before cooking the buffalo shrimp.  The shrimp only take a few seconds to cook!
     Place some radicchio leaves on a plate as a bed for the shrimp.
     Place a few parsley sprigs on the plate.
     Place the ramekin of lemon chive dressing one side of the plate.

     Buffalo Shrimp:
     Step 1:  Heat 6" of vegetable frying oil to 360ºF in a high sided pot.
     Step 2:  Peel and devein about 10 to 12 ounces of medium sized shrimp (21/25 per pound count).  Leave the tails attached.
     Step 3:  Toss the shrimp in the seasoned flour.
     Step 4:  Place the shrimp in hot oil.
     Fry the shrimp till they are fully cooked and golden highlights appear.
     Step 5:  Use a fryer net to gather the shrimp out of the hot oil and tap off any excess oil.
     Step 6:  Place the shrimp in the mixing bowl with the Buffalo Shrimp Sauce.
     Toss the shrimp and sauce together, till the shrimp are completely coated with the sauce.
     Mound the buffalo shrimp on the bed of radicchio leaves on the set-up plate.

     The Lemon Chive Dressing does give relief to to the spicy Buffalo Shrimp heat!  

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