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Easy, Crispy Mardi Gras Shrimp


This photo shows crispy shrimp with spicy Cajun sauce in Concord, N.H. These golden shrimp are served a sweet-and-spicy sauce made with hot pepper sauce, mayonnaise and honey, all spiked with a Cajun seasoning blend. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe)

Start thinking about Mardi Gras and New Orleans, and it won’t be long before you’ve got shrimp on your mind.

The preparation of for these party-perfect crispy shrimp with spicy Cajun sauce is somewhat similar to how you might make Buffalo wings. Raw shrimp are dredged in a seasoned mixture of Wondra flour, cornstarch and beaten egg, which gets wonderfully crispy when deep-fried.


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The golden shrimp are served with a sweet-and-spicy sauce made with hot pepper sauce, mayonnaise and honey, all spiked with a Cajun seasoning blend. The results are as irresistible as a basket of hot wings and even better, there are no bothersome bones to get rid of.

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CRISPY SHRIMP IN SPICY CAJUN SAUCE

Start to finish: 50 minutes

Servings: 6

1 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

1/4 cup honey

3 to 4 teaspoons hot sauce, to taste

3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning blend, or to taste

3 teaspoons salt, divided

Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups quick-mixing flour, such as Wondra

1 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 pounds large-sized raw shrimp, shells and tails removed

3 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced

To make the sauce, in a large bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, honey, hot sauce, Cajun seasoning and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Set aside.

In a large cast-iron skillet or other heavy skillet over medium, heat 3/4 inch of oil to 350 F.

Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs. In a second shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt and the black pepper.

Working in batches, dip the shrimp first into the beaten eggs, then in the flour mixture to coat well.

Fry the shrimp in the oil until golden, about 1 minute per side, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain the oil temperature. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried shrimp to a plate lined with paper towels. Serve with the sauce for dipping.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 434 calories; 179 calories from fat (41 percent of total calories); 20 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 373 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrate; 36 g protein; 0 g fiber; 992 mg sodium.

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