Cajun Popcorn Shrimp

Cajun Popcorn

1 pound large shrimp

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon chili powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup canola oil

Peel and devein the shrimp. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Combine the flour, cayenne, chili powder, cumin, black pepper and salt in medium-size bowl. Heat oil in large skillet. Dredge the shrimp in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Fry them quickly over high heat until brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.

Serving suggestion: Serve with tartar sauce, fresh lemon and Tabasco.

Note: For shrimp po’boy sandwiches, leave shrimp whole or halved when frying. Slice French sandwich-sized baguettes in half, pull out some of the bread, brush with olive oil and heat under the broiler until the halves are crisp and brown. Stuff with shrimp, slivered iceberg lettuce and sliced tomatoes, and dress with Spicy Tartar Sauce or remoulade sauce.

Makes 8 hors d’oeuvre servings.

Spicy Tartar Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise (Hellmann’s Reduced Fat mayonnaise is a good option, too)

1/4 cup finely minced celery

1/4 cup finely minced seeded cucumber (see Note)

1 tablespoon minced parsley

1 tablespoon minced green onion

2 tablespoons minced dill pickle (see Note)

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2-3 drops Tabasco sauce, or to taste

Salt, to taste

Pinch (or less) white pepper

Mix together all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. Keep refrigerated after using.

Note: When making homemade tartar sauce, you want to keep it from being too liquid. After mincing the cucumber, press it with a paper towel to remove excess water. Pat the chopped pickle with towel, too.

Makes about 1 3/4 cups.

Source: ‘The New Basics Cookbook’

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