Shrimp Tempura With A Twist

     Anyone who's ever tasted and enjoyed shrimp tempura, knows that the batter is very light and crisp. You may have tried to make this at home with the coating you usually use for chicken but found it was a bit too heavy, and clumpy where the shrimp curls.

     I ran across this recipe from America's Test Kitchen and tried it myself. It was fantastic. Here's how to do it like your favorite restaurant, crispy, light and delicious!

      You'll need:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup seltzer water 
  • batch of jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
     Mix four with cornstarch. In separate bowl, combine egg, vodka, and seltzer water. When oil reaches about 385 degrees, combine the flour mixture with the liquid mixture and whisk gently till just combined. Oil should reach 400 degrees by now and you can drop several of the shrimp into the batter and letting the excess run off, put them one by one into the oil. They should be done in about 3 to 4 minutes.

     Important Tips:

  1. To prevent shrimp from curling too much, make two cuts bellyside about an inch apart
  2. Do not combine flour and liquid untill the last minute otherwise the batter can begin to toughen up
  3. The oil must be kept very hot while cooking these shrimp.
  4. Make sure when you first put them in the oil they don't stick together. You can use any utensil to move them around that can stand up to being in hot oil.
  5. Since the batter will begin to toughen a little while sitting, make a fresh batter after several batches if you are making a large quantity.
  6. Place on paper towel when you remove them from the oil and serve as soon as possible.

Photo by Neil Conway

Roast Beef Roll-ups

     This cold appetizer should be a must at every buffet table, your guests will love it.

  • 4oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 minced fresh cilantro
  • 2-1/2 tbls. minced banana peppers
  • 1 minced clove of garlic
  • 1/2 lb. thin sliced cooked roast beef
     Mix together the first 4 ingredients and then spread 2 tbls. on each slice of beef and roll tightly. Cover well in plastic wrap and put in fridge overnight. When ready to serve you can slice each roll into 1-1/2 inch pieces. Makes about 6-1/2 dozen.

Photo by Adactio

Rice and Spinach Balls

     This recipe is served warm from the oven and makes about 3 dozen balls.

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1-10oz. frozen chopped spinach  or broccoli, thawed, and dried
  • 2/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs, divided
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup of onion, minced
  • 3 beaten egg whites
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 tbls. dijon mustard
  • non-stick cooking spray
      Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Reserve 1/3 cup of bread crumbs. Combine remaining ingredients and roll into 1 inch balls. Roll the balls in the remaining bread crumbs. Bake for about 12 minutes.

Photo by  Juaquinuy