This simple fried shrimp makes a great tasting meal or appetizer. The shrimp are easy to prepare with an egg batter and a mixture of flour and cornmeal or bread crumbs.
1. Put about 3 inches of vegetable oil in a deep, heavy saucepan or deep fryer. Heat the oil to 360° F.
2. Line a baking pan with paper towels.
3. Peel the shrimp, leaving the tails on and then put them in a colander. With a small, sharp knife, make a shallow cut down the back of a shrimp; pull the dark vein out or scrape it out with the tip of the knife. Rinse the shrimp under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk with egg until well blended. Put the shrimp in the milk and egg mixture and let stand for 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Combine the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder in another bowl; blend well. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a dash of freshly ground black pepper.
6. Dip the shrimp in the flour and cornmeal mixture to coat thoroughly. Shake off excess.
7. Cook the shrimp in small batches in the hot oil until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
8. Remove to the prepared baking pan lined with paper towels to drain while you cook subsequent batches.
9. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
Tips and Variations
- Replace 1/2 cup of the milk with hot sauce, such as Frank's or Texas Pete's.
- How to Thaw Frozen Shrimp - Put the shrimp in a large bowl and thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or put them in a bowl of cold water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Keep a small stream of cold water running into the bowl so the water in the bowl stays cold but not ice-cold.
- Replace all or part of the cornmeal with fine dry bread crumbs or panko.
- Season the flour mixture with 1 teaspoon of Creole or Cajun seasoning, a seasoned salt blend, or Old Bay. Omit the salt unless the seasoning is salt-free.