The devil called….And he wants his weather back!
It’s crazy hot right now, so this pairing is here to keep you cool. The spice of the shrimp will make you break a sweat, which in turn will keep you cool. Don’t believe me? I learned this trick from a dear Thai friend. She and the rest of the people of Southeast Asia have been doing for centuries to remain sated and cool!
One of the best summer celebrations is the Summer of Riesling. In case you’re not familiar, SOR is a summer-long promotion of all things Riesling, started by Paul Greico at Terroir wine bar in NYC back in 2008. One of the most diverse yet underrated grapes, he sought to change everyone’s perception of this varietal by only serving Riesling as the white wine option for an entire summer. The result? Well, four more Terroirs have opened up since and the festival went international, so I guess it worked out ok.
Riesling’s a grape that can be produced in a wide variety of styles, from mineral and dry to uber-sweet. Needless to say, it’s an awesome food wine and pairs really well with a range of cuisines and flavor profiles. I’d be remiss to not jump in on the festivities and share a Riesling for your drinking pleasure. Just back from a July 4th trip to the Finger Lakes in upstate New York, a region known for their Rieslings, I’m keeping it patriotically local and sharing one of the “best in show” (with a full recap on shanaspeakswine.com/blog coming soon).
Fox Run Reserve Riesling 2011 (approximately $30)
Fox Run Winery served their 2010 Tierce Riesling at the Presidential Inauguration so yeah, they’ve got their s*** together. Their 2011 Reserve is lemon ‘n lime zestiness married with some ripe orchard fruits on the nose. A little bit of slate also comes through, giving you a lot to ponder and you sniff. On the palate, you notice the juicy peach and apricot a bit more plus a level of acidity to definitely make you salivate.
However, this wine is off-dry, meaning it has a bit of residual sugar on it, so there’s a lingering sweetness that tingles on the tongue. The sugar balances out spicy foods and mellows out the heat in the dish, creating the ideal quadrant of salty, sweet, spicy and sour that is the benchmark of Asian/Thai foods.
Spicy Fried Shrimp
For the Sauce
◦ 1/2 cup mayonnaise
◦ 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce (such as sambal oelek)
◦ 2 teaspoons honey
◦ Kosher salt
For the Shrimp
◦ Vegetable oil, for frying
◦ 2 large eggs
◦ 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
◦ 1/2 cup cornstarch
◦ Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
◦ 1 1/4 pounds small shrimp, peeled and deveined
◦ Bibb lettuce leaves, for serving
◦ Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
1. Make the sauce: Mix the mayonnaise, chili sauce, honey, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon water in a large bowl; set aside.
2. Prepare the shrimp: Heat about 2 inches of vegetable in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl. Whisk the flour, cornstarch and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper in another shallow bowl.
3. Working in batches, dredge the shrimp in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess, dip in the beaten eggs, then return to the flour mixture, turning to form a thick crust. Fry the shrimp in the hot oil until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain the oil temperature. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon.
Toss the shrimp with the prepared sauce. Arrange the lettuce in a shallow serving bowl or on individual plates. Top with the shrimp and garnish with scallions.