Within 24 hours of the first snowfall, the temperatures crawled north of 32F, and the one inch blanket soon disappeared. But not without a lasting effect in the garden. I harvested what I could before it fell, but the celery, lettuces and kale remained in the ground with questionable odds of survival.
Last night I peeked at the celery. It was definitely floppy, and I didn’t expect it to recover. I harvested the remaining head, and salvaged what stalks I could. The outer stalks were hollow, stringy and brown. The inner stalks seemed okay.
With Maine Shrimp season just starting, I decided that Buffalo Shrimp would be the perfect foil for the celery remnants. The celery would balance nicely with the creamy shrimp, and the cool crunch would tame the heat of the spicy chili sauce.
Most recipes for buffalo shrimp call for Frank’s Hot Sauce. I didn’t have that, and instead used Lan Chi’s Chili Garlic Sauce with a splash of red wine vinegar. I prepared the classic bleu cheese dressing with mayonnaise, sour cream, a few crumbles of cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Since Maine Shrimp are so small, I worried that the typical deep frying would make them dry and rubbery by the time the outside crisped up. I opted, instead, to dust them in corn starch and fry them in hotter-than-usual (about 425F) oil. This worked pretty well. Probably next time, though, I would use larger shrimp and a more traditional coating.
Buffalo Shrimp with Celery and Bleu Cheese Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tbs. butter
2 tsp. Lan Chi Chili Paste with Garlic
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined.
1 cup corn starch
2 cups (or more) plain oil for deep fying
1. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream and blue cheese. Season with lemon juice. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter with chili paste and vinegar. Set aside.
3. Heat a pot with oil over high heat. Toss shrimp in corn starch and spank of any excess. Gently drop the shrimp in the oil ( you may need to cook in several batches to avoid overcooking). When shrimp are crispy, remove from oil with a slotted spoon.
4. Toss shrimp into chili sauce. Serve with celery and blue cheese dressing.