Food for thought…

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.

  1. Mix mayo and sauces for coating.
    Mixing Sauce with Breaded ShrimpMixing Sauce with Breaded Shrimp

    Mixing Sauce with Breaded Shrimp

  2. 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
    Still not sure if cornmeal and cornstarch are the same thing

    Still not sure if cornmeal and cornstarch are the same thing

  3. Deep fat fry the shrimp until lightly brown.
    Bang Bang Shrimp Fry in the olive oil and skillet

    Bang Bang Shrimp Fry in the olive oil and skillet

  4. 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:

Not so appetizing :/

Not so appetizing :/

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.