Inexpensive, nonstick, and nearly indestructible, a cast-iron skillet is great for almost any type of cooking. Senior Editor of Fine Cooking Magazine, www.FineCooking.com, Denise Mickelsen, was in the studio demonstrating the benefits of using this must-have tool with a recipe for Beer-Battered Coconut Shrimp with Remoulade Sauce.
A cast iron pan is ideal for frying these shrimp because it holds a fairly constant temperature even when the shrimp are added to the oil. As a result, the shrimp's coating is quickly sealed and absorbs less oil.
For the rémoulade sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbs. minced celery
2 Tbs. minced shallot
1 Tbs. finely chopped capers
1 Tbs. whole-grain mustard
1 small orange, finely grated to yield 1 tsp. zest, squeezed to yield 1 1/2 tsp. juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
For the shrimp :
A shot of hot sauce in the batter counters the sweetness of the shrimp, which get a double dose of crunch from a coating of shredded coconut and panko.
About 4-1/2 cups peanut or canola oil
2 1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 Tbs. Cajun seasoning
1/2 cup pale lager beer, such as Corona
2 Tbs. Frank's RedHot Original cayenne pepper sauce or other hot sauce
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
12 colossal (13 to 15 per lb.) shrimp, peeled and de-veined, tails intact
Make the rémoulade sauce
In a small bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients and set aside.
Coat and fry the shrimp
Clip a deep fat/candy thermometer to the side of a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and add enough oil to measure 3/4 inch deep. Heat to 360°F over medium heat.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, Cajun seasoning, and 1/2 tsp. salt; then slowly whisk in the beer and hot sauce to make a smooth batter. In a shallow bowl, combine the panko and shredded coconut.
Holding a shrimp by its tail, dip it into the batter, letting any excess drip off, then dredge it in the panko mixture, pressing and rolling it several times to coat well. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
Fry the shrimp in the hot oil, turning once with tongs, until golden-brown, about 2 minutes. If necessary, adjust the heat to maintain the oil at 360°F. Transfer the shrimp with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain briefly. Serve the shrimp with the rémoulade sauce.
For more info visit: www.FineCooking.com
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