WRAL reporter Brian Shrader and our own Lisa Prince feature seasonal recipes in their weekly Local Dish Cooking segment. This month Brian and Lisa are cooking up a few tasty dishes featuring fresh N.C. shrimp. Local shrimp is usually available in the spring, summer and fall.
Fresh shrimp is usually pretty easy to find if you are lucky enough to be on the North Carolina coast. But even inland dwellers are likely to find local shrimp for sale at a farmers market. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services also offers an online seafood directory.
This month’s recipes include a pair of delicious shrimp appetizers, shrimp pasta salad and a citrus shrimp salad.
The first recipe is for an appetizer, or you can serve with fries to make a meal. Lettuce can be substituted for celery slaw.
1 pound medium N.C. shrimp
Peanut or vegetable oil for frying
2 large eggs
3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
16 slider buns or rolls
Slaw of your choosing
1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce, such as Sriracha
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon water
Make the sauce by combining the mayonnaise, chili sauce, salt, honey and water in a large bowl; set aside.
Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees or fill your deep fryer to the fill line according to the directions. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper .
Working in batches, dredge the shrimp in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess, and dip in the beaten eggs, then return to the flour mixture, turning to form a thick crust. Fry the shrimp in the hot oil until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain the oil temperature. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon.
Toss the shrimp with the prepared sauce. Arrange shrimp on bun and top with tablespoon of slaw. Makes 12 sliders.
The next dish is perfect for a cookout, make it a day or two before – it gets better each day. This recipe was submitted by Martina Christie from Winterville and it was a warm weather favorite passed down from her mother.
1-1/2 pound fresh, peeled N.C. shrimp
1 package medium-sized shell pasta
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
2 stalks celery (chopped)
1⁄4 cup onion (chopped)
4 tablesoons mayonnaise (Light Hellman’s was recommended)
3 eggs (hard boiled – sliced)
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil the shrimp for 3-5 minutes or until pink throughout, drain and set aside. Then boil the pasta according to direction on package and drain. In a large bowl, combine the following: cooked pasta, Old Bay seasoning, celery, onion, mayonnaise. Add egg slices, mix and then add the shrimp. Continue mixing, adding the salt, pepper, and more Old Bay for that added seafood taste and mayonnaise to the point that the shells/shrimp are covered with the ingredients but not ‘swimming in it.’ Place in refrigerator for up to several days. If fresh Old Bay is used, be careful since its flavor is stronger.
This fun and easy appetizer is perfect for a hot summer day. Lisa suggest making extra of the dip for a vegetable tray appetizer. Also, if you don’t like wasabi, leave it out.
30 large shrimp
2 large N.C. cucumbers
1 teaspoon Zatarains Concentrated Shrimp and Crab Boil
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1⁄4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1 tablespoon fresh chives
Pinch of salt
4 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1-1⁄2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
5 teaspoons wasabi paste
Combine cream cheese and remaining eight ingredients until blended. Set aside. Peel cucumbers so they have a striped appearance and cut into ½ inch round slices. Set aside.
Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and water. Pour four quarts of water into a Dutch oven or large pot. Add Zatarain’s concentrated and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; add shrimp, unpeeled. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Stir shrimp into ice water; let stand 10 minutes. Peel, devein and pat dry. Spread a teaspoon of dip on each cucumber. Place a shrimp on top of the dip.
Lisa suggests using a variety or greens for the base on this salad. Mix kale, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, arugula, or other salad types to make the texture and taste more complex.
1 large orange, peeled and segmented
1 Ruby Red Grapefruit, peeled and segmented
4 cups mixed salad greens
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
18 large N.C. shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 1⁄2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1⁄4 cup olive oil
Prepare salad greens, avocado and fruit. Heat grill to medium high and coat with vegetable oil. Salt and pepper the shrimp. Place on grill for 1-2 minutes and then flip grilling 1 minute longer or until pink throughout. Add shrimp to the salad. Whisk together the grapefruit juice and next five ingredients. Add the olive oil slowly while whisking. Top salad with dressing and serve.
To learn more about fresh N.C. seafood, check out nccatch.org.