Popcorn Shrimp

According to food historians, Popcorn Shrimp was first served nationally in 1974 at Red Lobster Restaurants.  Over the years, this claim has been challenged by New Orleans outstanding Chef Paul Prudhomme. Supporters of Chef Prudhomme insist that he first served Popcorn Shrimp using Louisiana shrimp at his restaurant before 1974. Regardless who the first served Popcorn Shrimp to their guests, you will love this recipe.

Popcorn Shrimp
Serves 6 – 8

8 c. canola oil
1 large egg
½ c. milk
1/3 c. panko or cornmeal
½ tsp. salt (to taste)
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 ½ lbs.  (41 – 50 ct.)  Shrimp, peeled & deveined

Pour the canola oil into a large skillet. The canola oil should be poured until reaches halfway up the side of the pan. Heat the canola oil to 375 degrees. Monitor the temperature at a constant 375 degrees while preparing the shrimp. Whisk egg and milk in a large bowl until lightly frothy. Whisk in the panko (or cornmeal), salt, and cayenne pepper, continue to whisk until the batter is smooth. Add all the shrimp (medium 41 – 50 ct.) to the mixture in the bowl and stir to coat shrimp completely.  Retrieve the shrimp from the bowl covered in batter using a wooden spoon. Place batter covered shrimp in pan being sure not to crowd them (you may have to fry these in 2 or 3 batches). Fry the battered shrimp in pan for about 2 minutes+ or until they become golden brown, using tongs turn them a few times while frying. Using tongs remove the shrimp from pan and place them on paper towel to dry them. Salt them to taste while they are drying.

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