Saturday, July 11, 2009

Classic Southern Fried Shrimp

Gulf Coast Shrimp dusted with a light coating of seasoned flour and deep fried to crunchy perfection.
Gulf Coast Shrimp dusted with a light coating of seasoned flour and deep fried to crunchy perfection.

Classic Southern Fried Shrimp

We love our southern fried shrimp in this part of The Deep South and fried up in a deep fryer is the best way to go when you cook fried shrimp. A hot deep fryer cooks them so quickly, that there is far less absorption of the fat, leaving behind a crispy, crunchy and delicious fried shrimp.

The Cajun and Dad have been out shrimping a few times since the inland waters finally opened up, and while the catch has been fairly small compared to past years, there have been shrimp! And I have still been busy putting up shrimp - about 21 pounds and counting, but I'm just about done.

Just inserting a quick reminder here.... that this is a blog, not just a "recipe site," and yes, there is a difference! I want to first thank all of you who have supported my work over the years, but if you aren't interested in the chit chat, info, photos, tips and such in a post, as always, you'll find the complete recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll down to the bottom of the post!
And y'all, I have to say, fresh from the Gulf shrimp simply scream out for some southern fried shrimp - so, yes, we have already had fried shrimp, not once, but twice. Hot from the deep fryer, crunchy and salty, I'm tellin' ya ... it just don't get much better than this folks!

Dad's got some traps too, so Mom also sent me over not 1, but 2 pounds of crabmeat, which frankly if I would have picked all those crabs, I sure would have had a hard time letting go of.

Have I mentioned how much I love my in-laws???

Since we are on the subject of frying, I have to say that I love love love using a deep fryer. I recently upgraded mine and I really love the features - larger capacity than my old Waring and this one has a filtration system where you can filter out and drain your oil, getting a lot more use out of it.

A deep fryer heats up super fast and foods fry really quick, so that there is no greasy residue, so I use it all the time now when I'm frying. Everything comes out quick, crisp, crunchy and delicious. Yes, you do have to contend with the frying odor, but unless that's very disturbing to you, it's not troublesome to us. I can't believe I waited so long to upgrade and this fryer was worth every penny. I especially love it for frying shrimp!

We love to eat fried shrimp right out of hand as a main dish, right along with some standard fare of potato salad, maybe a cup of gumbo, or other sides, but one of our favorite ways to consume them is as a po'boy.

Here's how to build a shrimp po'boy.

First you gotta fry up those shrimp. Use this recipe... you don't need any other. Seriously! These are the perfect shrimp for a shrimp po'boy y'all. You won't find any better, promise.

Cut up some French bread into serving sizes, usually about six inches per serving unless you're really hungry. In South Mississippi we often use the thin, New Orleans style French bread, but here I'm using a standard French bread you can find at pretty much any deli.

I like to toast mine so I butter the insides and toast it in a skillet.

Slather on a little mayonnaise, or if you're feeling fancy, use some remoulade or even some Comeback sauce. Remember though, it's a po'boy - a very simple sandwich with a humble history and not intended to be too fancy, so mostly it's just good ole mayo down here and that's the way I like my shrimp po'boy. If you like your po'boy dressed, and I do, top that with a thick slice of tomato. I'm using some beautiful Creole tomatoes here.

Salt and pepper on the tomato and top with a little shredded lettuce. Throw some thin sliced dill pickles on too if you like!

Load it up with shrimp and I like to give them a generous sprinkling of some hot sauce myself, though some folks prefer good ole ketchup.

And there you have a delicious shrimp po'boy, South Mississippi style!

Now, you can eat them just like this, but in South Mississippi we like to return the whole thing to the pan - or use a sandwich press if you have it - and press it. This gives the bread a creamy interior and a nice crunchy exterior, but unlike New Orleans style, it doesn't crumble when you bite into it. We call this "dressed and pressed" here in South Mississippi. I hope y'all will excuse me while I dive into this one!!

I really do feel privileged to have a husband who goes out shrimping every year with his dad, so we get to stock up our freezer with fresh Gulf shrimp. But, even if you don't have that luxury, wild caught shrimp from America are available in your local grocery store. You just gotta look for the seal.

So, once again, please allow me the opportunity to soapbox and ask you to PLEASE stop buying that imported shrimp they sell in the grocery stores.

Our fishermen and women right here in the good old US of A are suffering because of these imports, and they really need your support. And besides Wild American Shrimp just tastes, well ... superior over the imports and isn't loaded with the vast chemicals that imports often are.

So, flip over that package and look for the country of origin. If it's not the United States, continue looking. Okay, off the soapbox now and on to the fried shrimp recipe!

Posted by on July 11, 2009
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