I like potato chips a whole lot. And it always pains me to toss the end of the bag away, along with all those perfectly good crumbs. But until this week, the only way I knew to consume them was through a very undignified method of upending the bag and pouring them into my mouth. Not ladylike.
I love to take a whole Sunday afternoon and just experiment in the kitchen. This week I was able to try out a handful of things. Some things worked, some didn’t (I’ll spare you the details of the failures). The results of what did work was pretty damned tasty. Potato Chip Crusted Shrimp with a pair of dipping sauces, Honey Sriracha and Chipotle BBQ.
I grabbed the remnants of what was a jumbo bag of Lays chips out of my cupboard and crushed them inside the bag (less mess!!) I used my hands and a rolling pin. When then were almost the size of bread crumbs I was satisfied.
Since the chips were already moist (and seasoned) and the shrimp I was working with were wet, I chose to skip the usual 3-step breading process: flour, egg and breading…and just go right to the breading. The coating would probably stick better with the standard method, but I was looking to use up my calorie count with the chips instead of the flour and egg. I coated the shrimp in the potato chips crumbs and thought it best to move quickly before they dried and fell off.
A chef friend of mine, Brandt Evans, taught me how to make pretzel crusted trout, and one of his tricks was to add oil (about a tablespoon of canola) to a cold pan and then put the seafood in, to avoid burning the coating. I tried that in this case, and it worked well. It goes against what most of us know, but it’s the right call here.
This step just took a few minutes on the frying pan. I put it on medium/high heat and they were golden brown in only about 3 minutes. Now, prior to browning up the shrimp, I started experimenting with the dipping sauces. First thought: Honey Sriracha. I’m very in to “sweet heat” nowadays. And it was done in no time at all. I just put a couple of teaspoons of honey in a ramekin and heated it up so it would mix well with a dash of Sriracha, my new favorite hot sauce. This step is up to you, however hot or sweet you want it. Find your happy place.
If you don’t keep Sriracha in your fridge, try a Chipotle BBQ variety instead. I just put a couple of tablespoons of BBQ sauce in another ramekin, and added a dash of chipotle chili, and the same amount of cumin for some smokey flavor. I fired that up in the microwave to heat it up. Both sauces were good. But I preferred the Honey Sriracha.
The end result of this experiment was a great appetizer. But you could certainly apply this to a larger volume of shrimp and be pretty satisfied! I encourage you to try something in the kitchen this week…and report back!