After taking a nice long break for the Labor Day weekend, I am ready to get back to posting some recipes. There are times where I try out and cooked different recipes and just get caught up in the moment or daily life and forget to take pictures of whatever it is that I have made that day. This leaves me with a bunch of recipes that I do not have pictures for but that I have actually tried. I do not really like to post recipes without posting a picture that goes along with them, even though most of the pictures that I take are hardly what I would call “professional grade” and probably do not make that much of a difference. However I do like to show pictures of that people reading do know that I have actually tried out the recipe being posted so they can see what it looks like when I do it. That being said I do have some recent recipes I have tried that I either failed to take pictures of or, since I recently had to reset my iPhone, have lost pictures along the way because they were still on my phone before I could transfer them over to the computer. Two such recipes are those that I have tried from New York Times Cooking from Mark Bittman and Jonathan Reynolds. They are recipes for oven baked sweet potato fries and for a very basic fried shrimp. Both are very simple to make and allowed me to have a very quick dinner one night when we were scrambling around trying to find something to do.
Oven Sweet Potato Fries
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the sweet potatoes into sticks of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide and 3 inches long, and toss them with the olive oil.
Mix the garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl, and toss them with the sweet potatoes. Spread the sweet potatoes out on 2 rimmed baking sheets lines with parchment paper.
Bake the sweet potatoes until they are brown and crisp on the bottom, about 15 minutes, then flip the potatoes and cook them until the other side is crisp, about 10 minutes longer. Serve the potatoes hot.
This was a very easy recipe to follow and do and provides you with a perfect alternative to actually frying the potatoes. All they needed was that little bit of olive oil to really make them come out crisp and tasty. They were the perfect accompaniment to a fast fried shrimp recipe.
Basic Fried Shrimp
1/4 cup vegetable or peanut oil for frying
2 pounds small, large or jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails intact
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 cup cracker meal, breadcrumbs (fresh or store-bought) or 1 cup of crushed crackers
In a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 365 degrees on an instant-read thermometer or candy thermometer inserted into the oil.
Place the shrimp in a medium bowl. Mix the milk and eggs in a glass measuring cup with a fork until they are well blended and pour the mixture over the shrimp. Toss the shrimp until they are well coated and drain the shrimp in a colander.
Roll the shrimp in the cracker meal or breadcrumbs and shake off any excess.
Fry the shrimp in the oil until they are golden in color, turning the shrimp as necessary, about 1 to 2 minutes total. Remove the shrimp from the pan with a strainer or Chinese spider (also called a skimmer) and shake off the excess oil. Serve the shrimp with tartar sauce or cocktail sauce, if desired.
You could always spice up the shrimp a bit by adding some other spices like paprika, chili powder, Old Bay seasoning or any other spices that you might like. Mix the spices in with the breadcrumbs and they will pick up the flavor nicely. The shrimp take no time at all to cook and you may have to do them in batches if you make the full two pounds so you do not overcrowd the pan. They go very well with tartar sauce or cocktail sauce and would even be perfect to have in a po’boy sandwich or even over a salad or with a steak. I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures of them; they came out quite nicely, with a nice golden brown color and great flavor to them since I had purchased some Wild American shrimp and used them for the recipe.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!