Saturday, May 22, 2010

Shootin' for Bang Bang

Food Network runs a regular feature called Copy This which features recipes for near-replica restaurant favorites. I was beyond excited when one of the recent issues had a recipe for a facsimile of Bonefish's revered Bang Bang Shrimp. Bonefish is practically across the street from our house and one of our favorites. The Bang Bang Shrimp is pure divinity among many of our friends and I couldn't wait to try it....and last night we did.

The ingredients are simple and the directions relatively easy. The flour to egg and back to flour dives and dips made for some seriously cakey fingers which resulted in some kitchen chaos. The final product, while still very good, fell somewhat short of the Bonefish original. This was partly our fault and partly the fault of the recipe. We used one pound of shrimp as opposed to the required 1 1/4 pounds yet we did not reduce the quantities in the sauce(out of sheer ignorance, to be honest) so it was over-sauced. In addition, the sauce tasted nothing like the original. The idea is to savor the taste of the Asian chili sauce with the crunchiness of the shrimp. This sauce was too light on the Asian chili sauce and was overwhelmed by the mayo. We simply doubled the chili sauce....and there it was. NOW I found the similarities to our beloved Bang Bang Shrimp. These critiques were a result of our familiarities with the Bonefish dish...but others may like it as it is. The recipe is at the bottom of this post.

We also grilled makeshift romaine hearts with olive oil and sea salt for a couple of minutes on each side and then topped them with balsamic vinegar and feta(for me)or bleu cheese crumbles(for Keith). The grill adds some wonderful crispiness and flavor.

Some quick product notes:

* Two of my favorite condiments lately came from the Greenhouse....Country Living's Chipotle Mayo and Southern Shore's Creamy Horseradish Sauce. I quite often take a sandwich to work of thinly sliced roast beef or turkey with either a slice of havarti or muenster cheese on whole-grain bread. My only dilemma is which amazingly flavorful topping to use. If you see either of these bad boys on the shelf, GET won't regret it.

* I've spoken of Rossi Pasta out of Marietta, Ohio before but recently we tried out their Chipotle Fettuccine for the first time. The fiery pasta, with no more than some olive oil and parmesan cheese made for a heapin' helpin' of some spicy righteousness. Rumor has it Rossi's is represented at the River Market Farmer's Market....can't wait to find out!

* Girl Scout cookies, Thin Mints to be exact, out of the freezer. 'Nuff said.

* First signs of Spring: our first visit to Cold Stone Creamery to reiterate my love for the Founder's Favorite.

Almost-Famous Spicy Shrimp(from Food Network Magazine)


For the Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce (such as sambal oelek)(we doubled it)
2 teaspoons honey
Kosher salt
For the Shrimp:
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 pounds small shrimp, peeled and deveined
Bibb lettuce leaves, for serving
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
Make the sauce: Mix the mayonnaise, chili sauce, honey, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon water in a large bowl; set aside.

Prepare the shrimp: Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees(we used our deep-fryer). Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl. Whisk the flour, cornstarch and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper in another shallow bowl.

Working in batches, dredge the shrimp in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess, dip in the beaten eggs, then return to the flour mixture, turning to form a thick crust. Fry the shrimp in the hot oil until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain the oil temperature. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon.

Toss the shrimp with the prepared sauce. Arrange the lettuce in a shallow serving bowl or on individual plates. Top with the shrimp and garnish with scallions.


Kristy said...

Oh Lord, where do I begin??? It's fantastic that you tried the replication and I'm sure the poor pitiful me who has never been to Bonefish would LOVE your shrimp and then actually GO to Bonefish and tell them they were doing it wrong. You KNOW I would say that. I too love the Chipotle Mayo and the Southern Shores Horseradish dip but The Greenhouse now has a Ginger Wasabi mustard dip that will clear your sinuses like RIGHT NOW and still let you enjoy the flavor. There's a little bit of sweet with the wonderful heat of the wasabi. As for the Thin Mints...well....duh...FROZEN OF COURSE!!! And you had to go and mention Coldstone's Founder's Favorite. I've only eaten Coldstone Creamery ice cream once in my life. (I'm the type of girl that prefers another pork chop rather than a piece of pie at the end of the meal.) But when I did eat Coldstone's concoctions it was Founder's Favorite and I was floundering in a sugar and cream induced BLISS. If I cannot have gelato from Whole Foods then give me some Coldstone!!! Miss you!!!

The Foodie Wannabe said...

Kristy, can't wait to try the Wasabi mustard but I didn't think you liked were still good with it?

Kristy said...

I still don't care for ginger and can taste even the tiniest bit of it in anything so this mustard dip is not my favorite however, the heat is wonderful and the wasabi is what shines through. This dip is too sweet for me but you know I loves me some wasabi. I just prefer it with a little bit of soy sauce and a LOT of great fresh sushi!

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