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Recipe courtesy of Lidia H.

Cheesy Shrimp Scampi Beignets with Corn Maque Choux and Basil Remoulade

This Southern-inspired dish uses buttery shrimp scampi in the cleverest of ways. The convenience of using frozen shrimp shortens prep time while the garlic-butter sauce adds major flavor to crisp, golden beignets. They are nestled in creamy, sweet corn and topped with a zesty remoulade spiked with plenty of lemon and fresh basil.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings (about 28 beignets)
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Ingredients

One 12-ounce box frozen shrimp scampi, such as SeaPak™ Shrimp Scampi

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour (see Cook's Note)

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 6 ounces)

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 medium red, orange, yellow or green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2 cups corn kernels (from about 3 ears of corn)

2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Vegetable oil, for frying and greasing the tablespoon

Directions

Special equipment:
a deep-fry thermometer
  1. Prepare the shrimp according to the package directions for the microwave. Drain the melted butter sauce from the shrimp and reserve (you should have about 3/4 cup). When the shrimp are cool enough to handle, roughly chop them and set aside.
  2. Combine the butter, 1 1/4 cups water, 1/4 cup of the reserved scampi butter and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately add the flour, mixing vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.  
  3. Using a wooden spoon, beat in the eggs one at a time until a silky dough forms. Stir in the Monterey Jack and reserved chopped shrimp; set aside. 
  4. Heat the remaining 1/2 cup reserved scampi butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the corn and 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning and cook until the corn is heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cream and cook until slightly reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.  
  5. Combine the mayonnaise, basil, mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest and remaining 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning in a small bowl and mix well; set aside.  
  6. Set a wire cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Fit a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a deep-fry thermometer, fill with 2 inches vegetable oil and heat to 350 degrees F.  
  7. Grease a tablespoon with vegetable oil. Working in two batches, gently drop heaping tablespoons of batter into the oil and fry, stirring occasionally, until puffed, golden and cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the beignets with a slotted spoon to the wire rack.  
  8. Spoon the corn mixture on a large platter and top with the beignets. Serve with the basil remoulade. 

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)