Tag Archives: cornmeal

Shrimp BLT’s

This past Labor Day weekend, I was REALLY angling to go to this music festival in Cookeville, Tennessee – The Muddy Roots Music Festival. Lots of rockabilly and roots country/bluegrass, with a few of my favorites being there – Wanda Jackson, Wayne Hancock, Hillbilly Casino, and The Legendary Shack Shakers. But, with the million other things we have going on, we just could not make it happen.  (Next year, I WILL be there.)  To console myself, we bought several desserts from the bakery and I overindulged in fried foods and red wine.  Not quite the same as being at the festival, but it was some good immediate gratification in place of it.

Quite possibly the messiest sandwich I have ever eaten.

Cornmeal Fried Shrimp BLT’s with Old Bay Aioli

Serves 2

  • 1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled, de-veined, and tales removed
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon (or 6 if you have a tendency like me to shove one  slice in your mouth and give one to the dog before you use it in your recipe)
  • 1 large, beautiful tomato, sliced
  • couple leaves lettuce
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • vegetable oil
  • Old Bay Aioli (see recipe below)
  • 1 baguette, cut into 2, 6 inch sections (save remainder for something else)

Make egg wash for shrimp by beating eggs and then mixing in milk.  Make seasoned flour mixture by mixing cornmeal and flour with some salt and pepper and a little bit of red pepper.

To fry shrimp, submerge them in egg wash.  Remove, shake off extra, and put in seasoned cornmeal mixture.  Shake off extra and line them on a sheet pan until ready to fry.

Add oil to a cast iron skillet until comes up sides by about a 1/2 inch. Heat on medium.  When ready to fry, test for it to be at correct temperature by flicking a little flour to oil.  If it starts frying up, it is ready to go.

Add shrimp to pan.  Don’t overcrowd – fry it in two batches if neccesary.  Fry one side about 1 – 2 minutes.  Turn shrimp over with tongs and fry on other side for another 1-2 minutes or until nicely browned.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate or sheet pan and give just a little sprinkle of salt.

In meantime, toast bread in over for just a few minutes at 300 degrees until nice and crispy. Cut down one side and open and flatten like a book. On one side of bread spread Old Bay Aioli, and layer with lettuce and tomatoes. On other side, spread more Aioli, and then layer with the bacon and shrimp.  You are then ready to eat this very messy sandwich!

Old Bay Aioli

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay

In a food processor, put in egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.  Process for just a couple seconds.  With processor running, SLOWLY start pouring in olive oil through food processor chute.  And by slowly, I mean (at first) one tiny dribble at a time.  Once you have several tablespoons of dribbles poured in, the aioli should start coming together (looking thick, pale, mayo-like). At this time, you can start pouring it in more quickly.  Continue until all poured in.  This recipe makes more aioli than is needed.  Save some for later.  I made some extra into tartar sauce and made up some extra fried shrimp and slathered them with the tartar sauce (like I said earlier, I overindulged to compensate for my grouchiness of missing the music).  For purposes of this recipe, take 2 heaping tablespoons of the aioli and mix it with 2 teaspoons of Old Bay.

Fried Shrimp with homemade tartar sauce - just anothe piece of evidence of my over-consumption.

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Fried Green Tomatoes with Corn Vinaigrette

I know it has not been too terribly long since I’ve last posted on fried green tomatoes, but we eat them pretty often (yes, we are that healthy!), and usually mix up the toppings/sauces we use for them.  For the most recent one, we had corn that was super fresh and sweet, and decided to make a vinaigrette/sauce of sorts with it.  Now, I like to always try to use buttermilk to marinate my tomatoes in, but if you don’t have any available, feel free to substitute an egg wash (about 2 whole eggs and 3/4 cup milk).  Plus, the tomatoes, jalapenos, and thyme were all from our garden!

Fried Green Tomatoes with Corn Vinaigrette

Fried Green Tomatoes with Corn Vinaigrette

About 4 appetizer portions

  • 3 decent sized green tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • Corn Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Slice tomatoes into about 1/4-1/3 inch slices.  Put into shallow dish and cover with buttermilk.  (You may not need all the buttermilk, or you may need a little more depending on size of your pan – you just want to make sure the tomatoes are pretty much covered with buttermilk.) Let soak at least 10 minutes.

Mix flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper in shallow dish.  Set up breading station: Tomato/butttermilk dish, next to it seasoned flour, next to that parchment (or wax) paper lined sheet pan or plate.

Add vegetable oil to a heavy skillet (I use a cast iron pan). I add enough oil so that it is about 1/2 – 1/3 inch deep.  Heat on medium until oil reaches 350-360 degrees.

Bread tomatoes.  Remove tomato slice from buttermilk and shake off excess liquid.  Dredge in seasoned flour and shake off any excess.  Set on pan.  Continue until all tomatoes have been  breaded.

Start frying tomatoes.  Depending on size of your pan, add 4-6 tomatoes to pan, but don’t over crowd.  Let brown on one side for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn with tongs (be careful to not let grease splatter!) and let brown on the other side another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from pan with tongs, holding each tomato on end over the pot for a few seconds to allow extra grease to drip off.  Set on paper towel lined plate or pan.  Lightly season with salt.  Continue this way until all tomatoes have been fried.

Plate tomatoes and top with corn vinaigrette.

Corn Vinaigrette

  • 3 ears corn, shucked
  • about 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, removed from stem and just very lightly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Standing each of the ears of corn on their larger end, carefully slice off corn kernels.

In a bowl, combine corn, jalapeno, shallot, and both vinegars in a bow.  Stir.  Slowly stir in olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and add thyme.  Serve at room temp.