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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Combine the mayonnaise, basil, mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest and remaining 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning in a small bowl and mix well; set aside.
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.
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.
Spoon the corn mixture on a large platter and top with the beignets. Serve with the basil remoulade.
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.)