Dinner

     We’ve been on a lil bit of a shrimp kick lately. You may have noticed. Shrimp fried rice, grilled shrimp, shrimp en brochette. What can I say? Mrs. G and I both grew up on the coast and we love seafood. Not to mention shrimp is pretty healthy for you.

     We were sitting on the patio, enjoying the nice weather while wecan before it gets too hot, having some cold beverages the other night. I had already defrosted some shrimp, so it was a matter of deciding what to do with it. I remembered seeing a guy on the Egghead forum named Mickey making fried shrimp the other day in a wok on his Egg. I’m a lil nervous about heating up a pan full of oil in the Egg. Something about doing that over a bed of lit charcoal doesn’t sound safe to me. Plus,  I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to control the temperature of the oil.

     And then it hit me…I have a propane burner that I use for crawfish boils and seafood boils and frying turkeys!! Why not use that? It would work perfectly and with the added bonus that our house wouldn’t smell like fried food for days and days. Genius!

Propane burner set up to fry shrimp

     Now before we get to the shrimp, Mrs. G and I had to run to the store to get a few items for a salad and a dressing she wanted to make (Bombay salad from King’s Inn in Baffin Bay, Texas….if you are ever down that way and have a chance to go….GO!!) While she was getting her items, I noticed that ‘shrooms were on sale buy one get one free. I know that Mrs. G loves ‘shrooms (aren’t I a good husband) so I grabbed them. OK, ok….I also thought it would be cool to see if we could fry some ‘shrooms up, too.

Batterin’ up the ‘shrooms

     For the shrimp (and now the ‘shrooms), I had picked up some Zatarain’s Seasoned Shrimp Fri (yes, it’s spelled “Fri” on the box). I had never used it before, but thought I would give it a shot. Once we had the oil heated up to 350F, we dropped in a few mushrooms for a taste test.

Test batch

     Didn’t take long to fry up the ‘shrooms. A few minutes per side, flipping occasionally until the were nice and golden brown. Then remove and add a pinch of salt for flavor and allow to cool before trying one. Trust me…allow to cool.

Test batch

     So how were they? Fan-tabulous!! So tasty, nice and crunchy with just a touch of heat from the Zatarain’s batter. Definitely a keeper and something we’ll do again.

‘Shrooms all fried up

     Next up was some hushpuppies. I’m sure there are killer hushpuppy recipes on the net. And I bet they blow away packaged stuff and are far cheaper, but these were a last minute addition and I didn’t have time to go scouring away looking for one. Instead, I opted for the Louisiana Hushpuppy mix. Of course, I had to dice up a jalapeno and throw that in for a lil heat. To me, I like the way the heat plays off the sweetness of the hushpuppies. These also got fried up at 350F, just a few minutes per side, turning occasionally to make sure that they brown up evenly.

Hushpuppies done

     After the hushpuppies were done, it was time to move on to the main even…fried shrimp!! (One of my favorite foods, btw) Unfortunately, the wet batter was running a bit low after the ‘shrooms, so I added a few tsps more of water and a couple of spoons of the dry mix and stirred it up until it was the same consistency that I started with. Worked out perfectly. Once again, these cook up at 350F.

Shrimp done

     Shrimp fry up fast, so keep an eye on them. No distractions, make sure you have a full, frosty adult beverage before you start. About a minute or so a side flip and another minute and you should be done.

Time for dinner

     This was such a great meal! I can’t even begin to tell you. Fried shrimp is one of my favorite foods, a comfort food for me and these were amazing. The Zatarain’s mix does have a bit of heat to it, not much, and I think it worked out great, but I just thought I would warn you. The ‘shrooms were amazing. Way better than the stuff we ordered at a restaurant the previous week. The hushpuppies….well…they weren’t so good. I don’t know if it was the mix or what. I don’t think I over cooked them, but they were just kind of dry and bland. Definitely won’t be doing those again. I’ll either have to find a new mix, or better yet, start scouring the internet. Anybody got a good recipe they want to share? I’m all ears.    

     One thing I forgot to mention before now, when frying up foods, make sure to work in small batches. Adding too much food at once, will drop the temperature of the oil and it won’t fry up right. If you need too, heat your oven to the lowest possible temperature and store your cooked food in there, while you fry up the rest. And always allow your oil to come back up to temperature before starting a new batch. Just a helpful tip.

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