Fried Shrimp

One of the things my family misses about living on the east coast is a restaurant named “Jimmies”, also known as “Jimmies of 7 Rock”.  Jimmies is known for their delicious and succulent “fried shrimp”, among many other “fried goodies”.  The following recipe is as close to the original recipe and is one of my families favorites.  I hope you enjoy it as well:

2 lbs. 21-25 count (size of shrimp) fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left in tact

1 1/2 cups “Hooters Wing Breading”, or All Purpose Flour with 1 teaspoon paprika

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 1/2 cups Cracker Meal (not corn)

1/2 gallon canola oil

Tartar Sauce (recipe to follow)

Fresh lemon juice to taste

This process is known as a 3 stage breading process….one bowl for breading or flour, one bowl for egg mixture, one bowl for cracker meal,  you use one hand for dry ingredients and one hand for wet ingredients.  With wet hand place 4 shrimp in the breading bowl and cover the shrimp with using your dry hand….using that same “dry hand” place the shrimp into the egg mixture…using your “wet hand” cover the shrimp with the egg and place the shrimp into the cracker meal.  Using your dry hand coat the shrimp and place on a platter.  Repeat this process until all the shrimp has been breaded.  Cover the shrimp and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (this will prevent the coating from falling off during the frying process).

Preheat an electric fryer (or use a large stockpot) until the oil has reached 350 degrees.  Place 10-15 shrimp in the fryer and cook until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes).  Drain on a wire rack and place in a preheated 200 degree oven to keep the shrimp hot while you cook the remaining shrimp.

If desired, squeeze the juice of one lemon over shrimp before serving.

Tartar Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup relish

2-3 tablespoons chopped jalapeños

3-4 drops hot sauce

Mix all the ingredient until well combined and chill until ready to serve.

Homemade Manicotti

One of our traditions for holidays is to serve some type of Italian food….this year for Thanksgiving I made Manicotti…seriously only took me 30 minutes to make enough to feed 8-10 people…yes…it really is that easy….After assembling the Manicotti, I covered it with plastic wrap and placed it in the freezer.  Thanksgiving morning I will remove it from the freezer and let it sit on the counter to defrost, then bake in a preheated 375 degree oven, covered, for about 45 minutes.  Recipe and step by step instructions follow:

In the bowl of a food processor (or large mixing bowl), add the following:

6 eggs

1 1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

Blend the crepe (manicotti) batter until well combined and transfer the mixture into a medium size mixing bowl.

In a large mixing bowl add the following:

3 lbs. Ricotta

2 cups shredded mozzerella

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 cup grated cheese

1 tsp. black pepper

Mix until well blended.  Preheat a 8″ or 9″ non-stick skittle over medium heat.  Spray pan with cooking spray and wipe dry.  Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with your favorite tomato sauce (or see my previous blog).

Using a 2 oz. ladle, pour the crepe batter into the center of the skillet and tilt the skillet until the batter is evenly distributed.  Cook until the crepe is dry to the touch, about 1 minute.  Use a spatula to remove the crepe from the pan.  Place the crepe on the counter and add 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture in the middle of the crepe.  Roll up and fold edges as indicated below.  Place the crepe over the sauce lined baking dish.  Continue until all the crepes are made.  Top the manicotti with 1 cup additional shredded cheese and top with more tomato sauce.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pan Spray
2 packages Belgian Chocolate Cinnamon Thins or 1 ½ cups wafer cookies
1 ½ cup toasted pecans
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 ½ cup sugar
1 ¼ cup canned solid pack pumpkin
9 tablespoons whipping cream, divided, 4/5
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large eggs
Caramel sauce – recipe follows
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Spray bottom and side of a 9 inch diameter spring form pan. Finely grind cookies, pecans and sugar in food processor. Add melted butter and blend until combined. Press crust mixture onto bottom and up sides of spring form pan .
Using an electric mixer (or a stand mixer), beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until light. Transfer ¾ cup mixture to small bowl; cover tightly and refrigerate to use for topping. Add pumpkin, 4 tablespoons whipping cream, ground cinnamon, allspice, orange peel and vanilla to mixture in large bowl and beat until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating just until combined. Pour filling into crust. Bake until cheesecake puffs, top browns and center moves only slightly when pan is shaken, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Transfer cheesecake to rack and cool 10 minutes. Run a small sharp knife around cake pan sides to loosen cheesecake. Cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
Bring remaining ¾ cup cream cheese mixture to room temperature. Add remaining 5 tablespoons whipping cream to cream cheese mixture and stir to combine. Pour cream cheese mixture over cheesecake, spreading evenly. Spoon the caramel sauce in lines over the cream cheese mixture. Using the tip of a knife, swirl the caramel sauce into cream cheese mixture.
Release pan sides from cheesecake. Spoon sour cream into a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip. Pipe decorative border around cheesecake and serve.
Caramel Sauce:
1 ½ cups brown sugar, packed
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup boiling water
Dash salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ teaspoon vanilla
Mix sugar with flour in saucepan; blend well. Add water and salt. Stir while cooking for 6 to 8 minutes. If too thick add additional water. Remove from heat; stir in butter, cream and vanilla.