You’re having a holiday dinner party or gathering at your house, and you want a spread that’s going to really impress your friends with festive hors d’oeuvres. Your mission this week is to craft a festive recipe suitable for a holiday spread.
I’ll admit I was a little dubious about the idea of a deep fryer but willing to give it a try since, don’t we all secretly love deep fried goodies at the holidays? They tend to be something I never make at home but always gravitate to at parties
The day after I received this fryer, I was at a work gathering and watched as my colleagues devoured plate after plate of coconut shrimp and figured I needed to give this a go. On inspection, however, the fryer is really too small to be of any use for a large gathering – it only allowed me to fry four jumbo shrimp (is there any other kind?) at a time (because you don’t want to crowd your fried food) which is kind of useless if you are making anything for more than two people.
The fryer also smells a LOT. In fact, in another coincidence, the week before I tried this fryer out I was at another work gathering (we are a social bunch) where this exact fryer was in use and I went home with my clothes (and hair) smelling of oil. So I chose to use the fryer outside. I also chose to cook in coconut oil. It still smelled very very strong outside (and in the room above the back patio whose window I had accidentally left open. So I would definitely not use this inside unless it was in a very well-ventilated spot. Outside is ideal (though that counts out about 4 months of the year here in Toronto).
It’s a fairly bulky machine also, taking up way more room than something that only cooks a handful of shrimp at a time should, so unless you have a ton of extra cupboard space, I am not sure I would recommend it. On the plus side, it’s ridiculously simple to use and easy to clean.
But let’s get on with the recipe, shall we? I was VERY happy with how these turned out, even though I had to make a few batches to have enough to serve guests. The fryer cooked them perfectly so they were crunchy on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside. These would be fabulous to serve at any holiday gathering – I know for a fact that MY colleagues would be happy being served these
- 24 uncooked jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined with tails left intact
- ⅔ cup all purpose flour
- 2 egg whites, beaten until frothy
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- zest of one lime
- 2 litres oil (I used 1 litre canola oil and 1 litre coconut oil)
- Fill deep fryer with the oil and pre-heat to 350˚F.
- Mix the flour and chili powder.
- Dredge the shrimp in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess
- Dip each shrimp in the egg white mix, allowing excess to drain.
- Mix the coconut and the lime zest.
- Dip each shrimp in the coconut/ lime zest mix.
- Place 4-6 shrimp (depending on size) in the fryer basket and fry at 350˚F for 5 minutes.
- Remove basket from oil and allow to drain.
- Serve immediately with sweet chili dipping sauce.
Verdict? Loved the shrimp. The fryer? Well it delivers on its promise of frying food to perfection, though a deep fryer is definitely not an appliance for everyone. As fryers go, it’s simple to use and clean, though it does smell very oily and it take up a large amount of cupboard space. For me, it’s definitely a luxury appliance, not a must-have. But it you like fried fried and are willing to work with small batches (I am not sure how well it would do with doughnuts, fish etc…) this might be a good starter machine for you.
Disclosure: I was provided with compensation as well as a Black and Decker 2L Deep Fryer in exchange for writing one post about the product. All opinions are 100% my own. The Kitchen Crew series highlights my stories, recipes and tips with promotional consideration made possible by Canadian Tire.