Corn and Shrimp Beignets
A light batter coats plump pieces of shrimp and sweet corn kernels, delivering a savory bite perfect for picnics, a finger-food weeknight meal or casual entertaining. Lemon zest and ground cayenne pepper provide an essential zing that brightens these easy-to-devour morsels. Although these crisp fritters are wonderful fresh out of the pan, they can also be cooled, stored frozen in an airtight container and popped in a hot oven to warm and refresh.
- Serves: 24 persons
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 2cups all-purpose flour
- ½teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1teaspoon baking powder
- ¼teaspoon baking soda
- ¾teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), plus more if needed
- 1whole lemon
- ¼cup thinly sliced chives (1/2 ounce)
- 1cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears corn)
- 6ounces peeled and deveined shrimp, coarsely chopped
- 1 ¼cups seltzer water
- ¼cup sour cream
- Sweet red chile sauce, for dipping (optional)
Step 1Line a sheet pan with a layer of paper towels or fit with a wire rack. Fill a deep, medium saucepan with oil to a depth of 2 inches. Heat over medium-high to 350 degrees.
Step 2While the oil heats, whisk the flour, ground cayenne, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Zest the lemon right into the bowl; slice the lemon into wedges and set aside for serving. To the bowl, add the chives, corn and shrimp. Stir to combine. Pour in the seltzer and stir until just combined. Fold in the sour cream until just incorporated.
Step 3Once a deep-fry or candy thermometer reads 350 degrees, the oil is ready. If you don’t have a deep-fry thermometer, you also can see if the oil is hot enough by dropping a tiny dollop of the batter into the pot: Bubbles should form around the batter immediately and the dollop should float to the surface. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, carefully drop tablespoons of the batter into the hot oil and fry, turning frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Maintain the temperature of the oil while frying by raising or lowering the heat as needed.
Step 4Transfer the beignets to the paper towels or rack using a slotted spoon or tongs. Repeat the frying process with the remaining batter.
Step 5Serve the beignets warm, with lemon wedges for squeezing and with sweet chile sauce for dipping, if using. Sprinkle the beignets with a little salt, if you like.