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Carla Hall's Cracked Shrimp With Comeback Sauce
Recipe Intro From CarlaHall

Click here to watch us make this recipe with Carla LIVE at FeedfeedBrooklyn!

Recipe courtesy of "Carla Hall's Soul Food" by Carla Hall (Harper Wave, an Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers). Photo by Gabriele Stabile. Purchase your copy here

Usually, I can take or leave shrimp. But this dish? You better watch out, 'cause I could polish it all off. Skillet-fried shrimp stay hot and juicy in their golden crackly crust. They cool just enough after a dip in comeback sauce, an addictive mix that's Thousand Island meets rémoulade. The secret to this dish is the "cracking." When I was cooking as a private chef in the Bahamas, I learned how to crack conch. The notoriously tough local conch had to be pounded with a mallet to make it tender enough to eat. Shrimp have a texture that starts softer, so a little tap, tap with a rolling pin is enough to flatten and tenderize them. In that smashed state, they need only a quick dunk in bubbling oil to turn into the most delicious fried shrimp you'll ever eat. -@CarlaHall

Recipe

Prep time 15mins
Cook time 45mins
Yield: Serves or Makes 6 servings of shrimp, 1 /2 cups of sauce
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Cracked Shrimp

ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, more for serving
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails left intact
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  • Comeback sauce, see below

Cracked Shrimp

Method

  • Step 1

    Whisk the flour, cornstarch, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a pie plate. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until frothy, then whisk in the evaporated milk, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Gently pound the shrimp with a rolling pin until cracked and flattened.

  • Step 2

    Fill a large cast-iron skillet with oil to a depth of 1/4 inch. Heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Dip a shrimp into the egg mixture, then dredge in the flour mixture, shake off excess, and slip into the hot oil. Repeat with enough shrimp to fill the skilled without crowding it. Fry, flipping once, until golden, about 1 minute per side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining shrimp.

  • Step 3

    Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with parsley. Serve hot with lemon wedges for squeezing and Comeback sauce (see below) for dipping.

Comeback Sauce

ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, grated on a microplane
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Comeback Sauce

Method

  • Step 1

    Mix all the ingredients together until well blended. Use immediately or refrigerate in jars for up to 1 week.