February 4, 2013 by Aaron Barksdale
As a tour guide, one question I’m often asked is, “how good is the food here?” I always reply that the food is pretty good, which is either met by a speculative glance or a sigh of relief. Although I have had a meal plan for all four years at W&M, I decided to prepare myself for post-grad life by going off the meal-plan. No longer will I browse the dining halls; instead, I will be sifting through the grocery store aisles. Unfortunately, I haven’t had too much experience making my own food. When I’m at home my mom prepares most of my meals, even though I’m a senior in college, and until now I have had W&M’s chefs cooking for me. Therefore, I will share with you my experiences “off-the-meal-plan,” and show you how well W&M has really prepared me for the real world.
Recipe#1 Bang-Bang Shrimp
There’s a restaurant near W&M named Bonefish Grill, and it has delicious seafood. However, my favorite item on the menu is the “Bang-Bang Shrimp.” Imagine savory shrimp deep-fried and coated in a spicy sauce. I got the idea to make “Bang-Bang Shrimp” on my own, so I found a recipe online and went to work.
Here’s the recipe and directions I was working from:
- 1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined smaller shrimp
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
- 3 -5 drops hot chili sauce, just a few drops (I couldn’t find this at the grocery store, so I just bought hot sauce. It’s all the same right?)
- 1/2-3/4 cup cornstarch, to coat the shrimp in
I put in pictures along with the directions, so you can see what a dorm kitchen looks like and see my process.
- Mix mayo and sauces for coating.
- The recipe said to bread shrimp in cornstarch, but I couldn’t find it at Food Lion (one of the local grocery stores) so I used corn meal instead
- Deep fat fry the shrimp until lightly brown.
- The recipe said to drain the fried shrimp on a paper towel, and put them in a bowl and coat with the sauce. If you look at my first picture you’ll see that I mixed the sauce in with the breading before I fried it…whoops!
So here is what Bonefish’s “Bang-Bang Shrimp” looks like:
And this is what my version looks like:
It doesn’t look as appetizing but it still tasted pretty good… I know the picture doesn’t do my cooking justice, but it was my first recipe. Next week I’ll be making Pad Thai Chicken, we’ll see if that turns out better.