Saturday, 12 May 2012

Shrimp Tacos

I'll tell you who I just can't stand to watch on Foodnetwork are those two smug sisters - Greta and the other one whose name I never bothered to remember. The premise of their show is sort of like a throwdown where they go up against a fat laden unhealthy recipe with their own healthy modified version. In theory, it seems like a pretty good idea. The problem is the way they go about it. They tend to go right into the heart of midwest American for their public flogging. Then they'll choose a lovely, kindly grandmotherly type with a fried chicken recipe that's been in the family for 4 generations, and pleasing the townsfolk for miles around at every country fair and wedding and church supper for 50 years now.
Here's where the trouble starts for me. They sachet through what is obviously a very urban grocery store in their designer clothing and high heels, literally tearing a strip off the poor old woman, accusing her of frying the chicken like she has a diabolical plot to murder everyone in the town with fat grams. They get home to their own kitchen and start making that fried chicken healthy and fit to eat. Of course the first thing they're going to do is axe the frying of the chicken, and choosing to bake it instead. Hello dummies! The people at Shake and Bake got all over that 50 years ago. Hence the difference between Fried Chicken and Baked Chicken! So they add a few generic spices to their corn flake crumbs, coming up with a coating that probably very closely resembles Shake and Bake, and they bake it off.
Now on to the skinning alive of the kindly grandmother. They have all the townsfolk gather to taste the two chicken recipes and of course their healthy version wins on every episode. I can't imagine anybody ever thinking that baked chicken tastes better than good old fried chicken, so I already know the results are fixed. But these two smug bitches can't just let it go at that. They have a go at the poor, bewildered grandma, lecturing her on the dangers of cholesteral and so on. They want to smack her all over with her own spatula. They would like to tar and feather her for her own stupidity. They wish her dead. You can tell. They are so very superior in so many ways. It doesn't seem to matter that not one of the taste testers from the heartland look to be overweight or suffering from any kind of health issue. And it doesn't seem to be relevent that the population of these towns can pretty much eat whatever they want because they are working class and they need the calories to sustain them throughout their workday.
What bothers me most is the redundancy of the program. They target the fried food eaters of the hardest working people in America. Why not take their baked, superior version of fried chicken to the corporate offices of KFC, and get them to switch their recipe? This would save all the inner city people that don't burn any calories in the course of a day other than the energy it takes to digest their junk food. Just a thought! All this talk of fried food reminds me of my shrimp tacos. Probably the best tasting food you'll ever eat!
You'll need:
A pack of the small soft torillas
2 pounds of large, peeled and deveined shrimp
2 limes
vegetable oil for frying
the batter ingredients which I'll list in a minute
stuff to put inside the taco. I like fresh cilantro, chopped tomatoes, sliced avacados, sour cream, lime juice and a splash of hot sauce. But you decide what you like and use that. The shrimp is the star of the show here.
For the batter:
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 rice flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tst pepper
1 bottle of beer
Cut each shrimp into 2 or 3 pieces (bite size chunks) and squeeze some lime juice over them.
For the batter, mix all the ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and then add the beer last, whisking it in. Add more beer if it's too thick. But it should be thick enough to coat the shrimp and not run off it. Whisk until smooth and let it sit for about half an hour for the flavours to come alive.
Using a big pot or a big frying pan, pour in the oil until it's 2 inches deep and heat it on medium high heat.
Dry off the shrimp and add it into the batter. Using a tong, remove one chunk at a time and add to the oil. Make sure not to crowd the pan. You don't want them to touch each other. Just fry them for a couple of minutes until they are crispy and golden brown. Put them on paper towl to drain the excess oil and salt them. While the shrimp are frying, wrap your tortillas in tin foil and heat them in the oven on 325 for a few minutes to warm them. Serve it up! This doesn't have to be just a taco recipe. You can make these shrimp as a delicious appetizer too and serve with a dip. I dare those two evil sisters to come to my kitchen and try to clean this recipe up. I'll smite them with my mighty oven mitt!

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