You Need Carla Hall's Brilliant Shrimp Technique
Any time spent with Carla Hall is just pure delight, due to her being among the most genuine and charming people around. But it is extra fun getting to cook from her newest book - Carla Hall’s Soul Food - because it is such a beautiful personal exploration. The book takes a unique perspective on her own background and includes a lot of vignettes via a road trip.
But of course the recipes are what really draw us all in and I couldn’t wait to get her unique take on shrimp. Her Cracked Shrimp recipe is a twist on the cracked conch she saw when she worked in the Caribbean and it has completely shifted my view on cooking shrimp. Watch the video below to see her technique and get the recipe to try it yourself!
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for serving
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails left intact
Vegetable oil, for frying
Lemon wedges, for serving
Whisk the flour, cornstarch, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pep- per 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.
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 o excess, and slip into the hot oil. Repeat with enough shrimp to fill the skillet without crowding it. Fry, flipping once, until golden, about 1 minute per side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with parsley. Serve hot with lemon wedges for squeezing and comeback sauce for dipping.