Thanks to Giada De Laurentiis, my husband Mike utterly impressed me last week. We were hanging out at home, and the Food Network was on in the background. The episode of Giada’s show, Behind the Bash, was on where she covers a cocktail party put on by an exclusive Miami caterer at the former Versace mansion in South Beach. This was vaguely interesting to us since we don’t live too far from that neck of woods here in Fort Lauderdale.
Anyway, the extravagant caterer was having his staff fulfill his every aesthetic fantasy, but they still managed to turn out some really spiffy finger foods along the way. While I was puttering around doing something else, Mike saw them make these cool fried shrimp and crab rolls and decided he was going to whip some up too. Despite the fact that we’ve deep fried maybe two things in our kitchen, ever, I was encouraging. Mike is a really good cook, but it’s not everyday he goes all haute-asian, so I was excited to see how it would turn out.
I know I already gave away the ending, but let me say again that I was super-impressed. Mike pulled off the chic South Beach finger food thing with complete confidence, and I didn’t even have to lift one. He would be the first to tell you that these deliciously crunchy skewered shrimp rolls were a piece of cake. Still, how often do people see something on TV, gather the ingredients and go for it, no recipe in sight. You have to be a pretty confident cook to pull that off. It also goes to show that if you know your way around a kitchen and you know your ingredients, you can use your instincts and cook anything you want. And that's the moral of this story for my 100th post!
After we ate these fabulous shrimp rolls, we started thinking of other fillings and variations. The egg roll wrappers are a great item that you can use for all sorts of things -ravioli and samosas came to mind.
Here’s how Mike made these shrimp rolls:
1) Thread large shrimp (peeled and deveined) onto long skewers so that the shrimp are straightened out.
2) Lay a piece of egg roll dough (cut to about 3 x 6 inches) out in front of you horizontally. Lay one skewered shrimp on the end of the dough. Place about a tablespoon each of crab meat and seaweed salad next to the shrimp. Starting with the end that the shrimp is on, roll up the dough around the filling and press it together.
3) Quickly dip the skewered egg roll in beaten egg, then roll it in a combination of panko (we used whole wheat), shredded coconut, sesame seeds and a pinch of salt and pepper. Press the panko mixture firmly onto the dough so it sticks.
4) Heat canola oil in a heavy deep pot, using a thermometer to maintain the correct temperature. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until the panko is crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels and serve right away with spicy cocktail sauce (add fresh horseradish) for dipping. You can do this in a skillet, but if the oil is very hot, it will splatter all over your kitchen. If you enjoy these shrimp rolls as much as we did, you won’t be too upset, but cleaning up is no fun.
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