Shrimp Beignets

Last year in honor of Mardi Gras I whipped up some vanilla bean beignets. This year I wanted to make another beignet but a savory one. This recipe combines shrimp, cajun seasonings, in a light and fluffy batter. Since traditional beignets are dusted with powdered sugar, I wanted to dust this beignets with something to mimic the sugar. I played around with a little molecular gastronomy and made some powder out of flavored butter and tapioca maltodextrin. Totally not necessary, but it adds a fun touch to the dish.

Shrimp Beignets

  • 1 tbs oil
  • 2 tbs finely diced green pepper
  • 2 tbs finely diced onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2/3 cup chopped shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1-2 dashes hot sauce
  • Half stick of butter
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • oil for frying

Heat 1 tbs oil in a sauté pan and add green pepper and onion.  Cook for about 5 minutes until peppers and onions are soft. Add minced garlic and cook an additional minute. Add chopped shrimp, Cajun seasoning, and hot sauce. Cook until shrimp are opaque. Season with salt and pepper.  Set mixture aside.

In a medium saucepan add butter and water, heat until it begins to boil. Add flour and whisk constantly until mixture pulls from the side of the pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat an add eggs one at a time. Continuing to whisk constantly. If needed switch to a spatula to be sure egg if fully incorporated. Fold in shrimp mixture and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Heat about an inch of oil in a small pot to about 350 degrees. Drop beignet mixture by tablespoons into oil. Cook about 2 minutes on each side until deep golden brown. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with Cajun butter powder (or Cajun seasoning) and dipping sauce.

 Cajun Butter Powder

  • Half stick butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs plus 1 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 cup tapioca maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is available here

Heat butter with garlic, Cajun seasoning and hot hot sauce until butter is melted. Remove garlic and discard.  Transfer butter to a blender and add maltodextrin. Pulse until a powder forms. Add more maltodextrin if necessary. Push powder thru a fine sieve to remove any clumps.

Dipping Sauce

  • ½ cup mayo
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire
  •  1 tbs horseradish cream
  • 2 tbs ketchup
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard

Combine all ingredients and chill until ready to use.

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