Sassy Shrimp Puffs
Southerners love any ground seafood that’s mixed with moist bread and/or mashed potatoes, enhanced with various seasoning, and turned into balls, puffs, or nuggets for cocktail parties and stylist receptions. These tasty puffs could just as easily be made with ground clams, lobster, crawfish, crabmeat, or even a lean fish, but whatever seafood you use, just be careful not to over-fry the puffs. Don’t ask me why, but for these types of puffs, I always use an electric fry pan—as my mother always did.
- Yields 50
- 5 slices white loaf bread, crusts removed
- 1 pound fresh shrimp, shelled, deveined, and finely ground
- 2 medium potatoes (about 1/2 pound), boiled and mashed
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered dried fennel
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Peanut oil for deep frying
Adapted from g-ec2.images-amazon.com
1. Tear the bread into a bowl, add enough milk to moisten well, let soak for 10 minutes, squeeze dry, and place in a bowl, discarding the milk. Add the shrimp, mashed potatoes, fennel, and salt and pepper, mix with your hands till well blended and smooth, and form the mixture into 1-inch balls.
2. In a deep fryer or electric frypan, heat about 2 inches of oil to 365°F on a deep-fat thermometer, drop the balls into the oil in batches, fry till golden brown, about 2 minutes, and drain on paper towels.
Serve the puffs hot with plenty of toothpicks.