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Panko Crunchy Shrimp

Last week was a blur. Seems we had somewhere to go everyday  . . . doctors, vet, grocery shopping, early voting, post office, car registration/inspection and couple of other places I can’t remember.  By the end of the week, I was pretty much pooped.  But, my batteries are re-charged and I’m ready for whatever.

shrimp_20116We had fried shrimp for lunch today. David said they were the best yet.  Now I have to think maybe that was because he hasn’t had any fried shrimp in quite a while – or just maybe, they really were the best yet.

Reason I say that is because they were fixed a little different this time. Deep fried, of course . . . but changed the coating.  Which brings me to another point before I go on.  I do not know why I cannot use something from the package as-is without feeling the need to ‘do something to it’.  This is true for almost anything I buy at the store where it can – and should – be used just like it is, i.e., seasoned flour,  fish fry, Stouffer’s casseroles, sausage, pancake mix, etc. etc. etc.  . . .  the list goes on and on.  It seems – at least to me – that by adding to these purchased, ready-to-use products,  or in some cases fixing them not-as-directed but as I think they should be,  they seem to taste better.  But then that’s just me.

Anyway, let me tell you about the shrimp. Some would say that it is too much  trouble this way, but they really were good,  and worth it as far as I’m  concerned.

My egg wash consisted of: 3 egg whites mixed with 1 tablespoon of cold water.  (Save the yolks for making a cake, corn bread, or use to scramble next day.)

Coating mix consisted of . . .

  • 1 cup of Zatarins Fish Fry,
  • 3/4 cup of Panko crumbs, and
  • 1/2 cup of cornmeal.

Mix dry ingredients  together in a bowl.  You may need to add extra as you go along, depends on how many shrimp you plan to fry.  This amount works for about 18 large shrimp.

  1. First, thing was to shell and butterfly them.  I like taking the tails off, but you can leave them on if you like.
  2. The cleaned shrimp were dipped in a wash of egg whites; then dipped in the coating mixture.
  3. Dipped them again in egg whites and coating. This gave them a nice thick layer ready to fry.
  4. Cook 4-6 at a time and drain on paper towels. This had them come out a lovely golden color  with a nice crunchy coating.

Note: The Panko crumbs are what gives them the major crunch and I have been known to mix Panko  in with the breading when frying chicken and fish.  Just use your best judgment on how much to add.  The more crunch you want, the more Panko you use.  Have never tried using them alone – not sure they’d stick since they do have a heavier texture and seem to need to be blended with something else.

Fry in hot oil deep enough to cover the shrimp until they are golden and float to the surface.  If you prepare them using a butterfly cut, they will cook up much faster than if you leave them whole.  And, don’t overcook, as this makes them tough.

Now for my other ‘add-on’s’.

 

frozenfood_1

Stouffer’s Italian casserole

I prepare according to directions, but the last 5 minutes or so, I put 2-3 cups of shredded mixed Italian cheeses on top.  The amount depends on the size of the casserole.  The extra cheese helps make it more moist and gives it a better flavor.

Stouffer’s Mexican Enchiladas.

Prepare according to directions but last few minutes add 1-2 cups of mixed, shredded Mexican cheeses.

P.F. Chang

There is quite a variety of these dinners available,  but our favorites are the Orange Chicken and Garlic Chicken.  I add about 1 tablespoon of orange marmalade to the Orange Chicken once it is cooked and simmering.  Also, when serving, garnish with finely chopped green onions.  This not only makes it look pretty, but also gives it a little extra flavor.  If I have it on hand, I add a couple of slices of ginger root to the garlic chicken dinner while it’s cooking.  And, again add chopped green onions for garnish.  I try to remember and remove the ginger slices before serving – only slipped up a couple of times. 🙂

frozenfood_2

Frozen Egg Rolls

Our favorites are from HEB.  To make these taste like a restaurant, place them on a paper towel on a microwave safe plate; microwave on high until they are defrosted and slightly warm.  For two egg rolls cook for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes on high.  Next, fry them in pre-heated, hot oil that is deep enough to cover.  Cook only until golden brown then drain on paper towels.  Serve with sweet and sour sauce.  This works for the large size egg rolls, if your egg rolls are small or mini – cut the microwave time in half, and I’d probably reduce the power to about 70%.

Frozen Sausage Patties

Prepare these by nuking in the microwave (on a microwave safe plate and paper towel)  for about 30 seconds (60% power).  Next, place  in a non-stick skillet with 1 teaspoon oil (or bacon fat) and sprinkle VERY LIGHTLY with a little sage.  Can’t stress ‘very lightly’ enough.    Cook on low heat turning a few times until heated through.

Pancakes

Adding a tablespoon of melted butter (the real stuff for best results) and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to the batter gives pancakes a great flavor and the texture is soooo much  better.

 

Now for no other reason that it was quirky, the carrot pictured was in my last bag of carrots from the store –  don’t think I’ve ever seen one that looked like a corkscrew.

 

curlycarrot

 

 

 

 

 

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