Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Beer Batter Shrimp with Ginger Lime Mayonnaise and Sweet Potato Shoestring Fries

     "We Beer Batter Anything!"
     Up till about 25 years ago it seemed like every local seafood restaurant only offered a choice of cocktail sauce or tartar sauce.  Fortunately things have changed since then.  Serving beer batter fried seafood with a fancy flavored mayonnaise sauce adds a signature touch.  Today's Ginger Lime Mayonnaise recipe is an example of a modern fancy mayonnaise sauce.  This dipping sauce tastes great with beer batter shrimp!
     Beer batter is the most popular batter for frying seafood.  Many chefs say that eggs and milk are needed to bolster up the beer batter, but these ingredients really are not needed.  It seems like the golden rule for making beer batter is "The simpler, the Better!"
     Light lager beer or pilsner are the best choices for making beer batter.  A pinch of turmeric adds an appealing color.  A small amount of ginger and cayenne pepper adds a zesty snap to the beer batter flavor.  If you prefer a non-alcoholic beer batter, then old fashioned Jamaican Ginger Beer is the best choice.  If ginger beer is used, then omit the ginger in the recipe.
     The consistency of the beer batter makes all the difference in the world.  A beer batter that is too thin will not cling to the shrimp.  A beer batter that is too thick will result in a tough leather coating that will not get crisp.  Beer batter should be the same consistency as a pancake batter that produces thin pancakes!
     Beer Batter:
     This recipe yields enough beer batter for about 16 to 20 large shrimp.
     Step 1:  Place 2 cups of light lager beer in a mixing bowl.  (Leftover flat beer actually is best for this recipe.)
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder.
     Add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and white pepper.
     Step 2:  Add just enough flour while whisking to make a medium thin batter.  (Less than 2 cups)
     *The batter should be the same thickness as pancake batter.
     Chill the beer batter for 20 minutes, so the flavors meld.

     Ginger Lime Mayonnaise:
     This recipe yields 2 to 3 portions.
     Step 1:  Place 1/2 cup of mayonnaise into a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 teaspoon of fresh lime juice.
     Add 2 pinches of finely grated fresh lime zest.
     Add 1 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Step 2:  Mix the ingredients together.
     Place the ginger lime mayonnaise in a container.
     Chill for 20 minutes, so the flavors meld
     Sweet Potato Shoestring Fries: 
     This recipe yields 2 portions. 
     Step 1:  Peel an 8 ounce sweet potato.
     Cut the sweet potato lengthwise into 1/8" thick slices.
     Step 2:  Stack a few of the slices on a cutting board.
     Cut the stack of thin sweet potato slices into long thin strips.
     Step 3:  Heat 6" of vegetable frying oil in a high sided pot to 360ºF.
     Fry the shoestring sweet potatoes in the hot oil, till they become crispy with a few golden brown highlights.
     Step 4:  Use a fryer net to place the sweet potato shoestring fries on a wire screen roasting rack to drain off any excess oil.
     Sprinkle a little bit of sea salt on the fries.
     Keep the Sweet Potato Shoestring Fries warm on a stove top.
     *Keep the frying oil hot, so the shrimp can be cooked!
     Beer Batter Shrimp:
     This recipe yields 1 petite portion.
     Step 1:  Keep the oil that was used to make the Sweet Potato Shoestring Fries at 360ºF.
     Step 2:  Peel and devein 6 large shrimp.  (Leave the tails on the shrimp.)
     Step 3:  Hold a shrimp by the tail.
     Dredge the shrimp in flour.
     Step 4:  Dip the shrimp in the beer batter.
     Knock the shrimp against the side of the bowl to remove any excess batter.
     Place the shrimp in the hot frying oil.
     Repeat this step till all of the shrimp are in the frying oil.
     Step 5:  Fry till the beer batter is crispy with golden brown brown highlights.
     Step 6:  Place the fried beer batter shrimp on a wire screen roasting rack to remove any excess oil.

     Beer Batter Shrimp with Ginger Lime Mayonnaise and Sweet Potato Shoestring Fries:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Place a 2 ounce ramekin of Ginger Lime Mayonnaise on the center of the plate.
     Place a ring of Sweet Potato Shoestring Fries on a plate around the ramekin, as a bed for the shrimp.
     Place the fried beer batter shrimp on the fries.
     Garnish the ramekin with parsley sprigs and a split slice of lime.

     Ginger Lime Mayonnaise tastes refreshing with beer batter shrimp!

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