By far, one of the lamest party foods, in my books, is the basic shrimp cocktail ring. When I see one sitting out at a party, I always wonder why someone would waste valuable table real-estate on such a bland and boring dish. It wasn’t until during the last holiday season that I thought that there must be a way to improve the standard shrimp cocktail recipe to make it more appealing to cocktail party go-ers.
I took it to the drawing board and here’s what I came up with: Fried shrimp and waffle with a Honey Sriracha Lime Dipping Sauce. This one will definitely turn heads. A crispy shrimp served upon a soft waffle with a perfect topping, a sweet and spicy “syrup”. I don’t know anyone who would turn down this appetizer.
There you have it – an old, boring dish made new again. The next time you feel the urge to pick up that shrimp ring at your local grocery store before a party, please consider making one of these re-invented shrimp cocktail recipes. Your guests will thank you.
- Makes about 50-55 appetizers
- 700g large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined tails removed
- 2½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
- ½ cup plain yellow cornmeal
- 3½ tsp Old Bay Seasoning, divided
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1½ cup whole buttermilk
- Canola oil for frying
- 12 buttermilk or Belgian-style frozen waffles
- Honey Sriracha Lime Syrup
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 3 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
- Toss the shrimp with ½ tsp Old Bay seasoning and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cornmeal, 3 tsp seafood seasoning, garlic powder, and ground cumin and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 large eggs and 1½ cups whole buttermilk and set aside.
- Toss the seasoned shrimp with ⅓ cup of the seasoned flour-cornmeal breading.
- Prepare a parchment-lined baking sheet. Dip each piece of shrimp in the buttermilk-egg wash.
- Toss in the seasoned flour-cornmeal breading shaking off any excess and lay in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Heat 4 inches of oil in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan to 350°F.
- Fry the shrimp in batches for about 2-3 minutes (depending on the size of the shrimp) until golden and crispy. Adjust the heat periodically to maintain the temperature of the oil while frying.
- Prepare a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Use a slotted spoon to remove the crispy golden shrimp to the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat until all of the shrimp is fried.
- Toast your waffles until golden brown. Cut each waffle into 2”x2” squares and use a cocktail pick to secure a shrimp to a waffle square. Continue until all of the shrimp are secured to a waffle square. You may have leftover shrimp.
- Prepare your syrup by mixing the sriracha, honey and lime juice in a bowl. Whisk until incorporated and then funnel the syrup into a bottle or a bowl with a pour spout.
- Serve immediately with the honey, sriracha and lime syrup.