Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sweet & Spicy Shrimp Tacos

I love cooking and trying new recipes. All kinds of recipes. Dinners, deserts, side dishes, drinks, you name it! Most recipes that I try are found on pinterest, but I always like to find a way to make them my own. Recently I found a shrimp recipe that was supposed to be similar to Bang Bang shrimp found at Bonefish Grill.
I made this recipe into tacos, and Lee and I both loved it!

Here is how you can make these tacos at home:
To start, Thaw and de-tail your shrimp. I just buy frozen, pre-cooked large shrimp. To thaw mine, I usually just put them in a bowl of cold water for about 30 min before I plan to cook, and the tails pull off pretty easy. You could cook them w the tails on if you wanted, but for tacos that could be tricky to eat. When I cooked Thursday night, I had about 15 large shrimp, but I had enough breading and sauce left that I could've probably made about 20.

Once the shrimp are thawed, plug in your deep fryer to start heating it up (we just have a small fry daddy that we use), and make your breading. Here is how I do mine:

Egg mixture:
½ cup milk
1 egg beaten
Mix these two items in a bowl.

Breading mixture:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup panko breadcrumbs (I usually do use panko breadcrumbs, but Thursday I didn't have any, so I just used my chopper and ground up Ritz crackers until I had a 1/2 cup, and that worked just as well!)
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon onion salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dried basil
Mix all of these items together in a separate bowl.

Once your shrimp are all thawed and de-tailed, coat them in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, then back to the flour mixture. Then leave them all in the flour mixture bowl and set aside for about 10 minutes so the breading can stick to the shrimp.

While the shrimp is aside in the breading mixture, make your sauce. The sauce is tricky because I don't have an exact recipe. I usually just add things together until it tastes right, but next time I'll keep track and let you know exactly what I do.

I start with these ingredients:
1/3 cup Mayonnaise
5 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce (below is the picture of the brand I use, and this sauce is also really good to dip Crab Rangoon in if you ever make that)
1 tablespoon of sriracha

From here, we added a good amount more of both the chili sauce and sriracha, and kept tasting until it tasted right. The chili sauce will make it sweeter, and the sriracha will make it spicy. We like ours sweet with a good hint of spicy. Make sure you mix your sauce in a Tupperware container with a lid, so that you can just keep it in that bowl and shake your shrimp up once they're cooked.

The taco shells were pretty tricky, and this is the first time I've used won tons for this purpose. Let me know if you happen to try this recipe and find a better method! I made the taco shells one at a time. I bought the small square wonton wrappers. Drop one wonton into your Fry Daddy grease and let it get a lightly golden brown. I just let mine lay flat in the grease because they float right on top, and flipped mine over halfway through so that both sides got lightly brown. I used metal tongs to handle the won tons. Once you take them out of the grease they are really stinkin' hot and kinda hard to handle. If I had a taco shell holder, I would've used it in this case, but I don't, so my engineer hubby helped me rig something up. haha! We took one of our oven racks out and set it on the counter with two Tupperware containers underneath (upside down) to make it sit up high. Put a paper towel underneath the rack too, so it can help catch grease. Once I took the wontons out of the grease, I tried to shape them around the metal wires of the oven rack so the would dry holding that shape. We tried both folding them in half and diagonal. Eating with the diagonal wontons was better for the tacos, but folding them in half was much easier to make. We also tried folding them before we put them in the grease, but that made them not hold very strong in the middle, so some of ours ended up breaking, but of course they still taste the same, so we weren't too worried about it. I made about 8 won ton taco shells and left them to cool while I cooked the shrimp.

Now that your shrimp are breaded and your sauce is ready, you can cook your shrimp! Just drop them into your deep fryer and cook them until they're golden brown. Take them out of the deep fryer and put them directly into the sauce. You want to sauce them while they are still hot, so they sauce sticks to the shrimp really good. Once I have all of the shrimp in the sauce, I just put the lid on the container and shake it up until the shrimp are all covered.

Then you can put them on your tacos, or if you don't have wonton shells, just eat them by themselves! We used about two large shrimp per wonton taco shell, and we lined our taco shells with chopped romaine lettuce and shredded carrots.