I grew up in a fishing household. Summer flounder, aka: "fluke" was the most common catch. Mom would batter and fry the fish, and kid that I was, I would refuse to eat it.
The smell of deep frying (and I've done quite a bit in the past few weeks) just brings me right back to that time and place; I could practically taste the battered fluke as I was cooking these shrimp.
As these were coming out of the oil, M started grabbing some of the cooked batter and proclaimed it good. He then tasted the cooked shrimp and exclaimed that it was delicious and a keeper. The only thing really missing was that I forgot to make cocktail sauce; we used lemon wedges and it was quite good with that, but we knew it would be even better with the cocktail sauce.
As for the little guys, the bigger one couldn't get enough. He kept grabbing more off the platter, which is practically unheard of around here. The littler one kept crying for dinner, so he had his meal while I cooked, and STILL ate two or three shrimp.
So, here's another major win for Cook's Country magazine.
Popcorn Shrimp Cook's Country Feb/Mar 2011
1.5lb medium/large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
3 qt canola oil
1t grated lemon zest
1 garlic clove, minced
1-1/2T Old Bay, divided
1-1/2c AP flour
2t black pepper
1t baking powder
1-1/2c bottled clam juice (I used 8 oz clam juice and 1/2 c water)
1. Combine shrimp, 1T oil, lemon zest, garlic, and 1/2t Old Bay in a large bowl. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
2. Heat remaining oil over medium-high heat to 375 degrees in a Dutch oven. In a large bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, Old Bay, pepper, and baking powder; add clam juice and mix until smooth and no flour clumps remain. Add in shrimp and carefully stir until evenly coated.