Few sights are more appetite sparking than a heap of plump, golden fried shrimp, their crunchy coating protecting the sweet tender meat beneath. Dip the shrimp, one by one, into the spicy cocktail sauce and savor every bite. This is one dish that you are allowed to eat with your fingers!
- 1 cup ketchup-style chili sauce or ketchup
- 2 Tbs. drained prepared horseradish
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- Hot pepper sauce
- 1 1/4 cups panko or other dried bread crumbs
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian or Spanish
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
To make the sauce, in a small bowl, stir together the chili sauce, horseradish and lemon zest and juice. Season with hot pepper sauce. Set aside.
Preheat an oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet. In a bowl, stir together the panko, paprika, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, salt and cayenne pepper. In another bowl, whisk together the butter and oil. In batches, toss the shrimp in the butter mixture to coat, then coat them with the panko mixture, shaking off the excess. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake until the coating is golden brown and the shrimp are opaque throughout when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the sauce to individual bowls for dipping. Serve the shrimp at once, passing the sauce on the side. Serves 4.
Variation: For coconut shrimp, substitute 1 1/2 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut for the panko mixture. Add 1 tsp. curry powder to the butter mixture. Dip the shrimp in the butter mixture, then the coconut, and bake as directed. Serve with Thai sweet chili sauce for dipping.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Comfort Food, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2009).