Crispy Herbed Shrimp with Chive Aioli

I made this shrimp recipe for the first time way back in March, shortly after that month’s issue of Cooking Light arrived in my mailbox. For some reason (certainly not because I’m the least organized person ever, ahem) the photos got lost in my archives and I never wound up blogging about the dish. This only came to my attention after I decided I wanted shrimp on this week’s menu and went to my blog looking for this recipe in particular only to discover it didn’t exist.

So, today we’re going to remedy that problem. I will say I’d hoped to have a chance to remake the recipe and take new pics before sharing it (I even bought shrimp last weekend to do so), but nothing has gone as planned this week. I almost never get headaches, but I’ve woken up to one every morning. I think it’s a combination of stress and lack of sleep, neither of which is seeing much improvement as I fall farther behind on my to-do list each day. Is it the weekend yet? :)

Crispy Herbed Shrimp with Chive Aioli

Anyway, old pictures or not, I’m a big fan of this shrimp. I absolutely love fried seafood, and even though I’m a lot more comfortable with deep frying these days, there’s a lot to be said for a less indulgent take that’s nearly as good as the real thing. These shrimp are breaded in a combination of panko breadcrumbs and fresh herbs and quickly cooked on the stove top where they develop a really crispy, golden brown crust. The breading process is a bit tedious, but we found the result worth the effort. I think the shrimp would be a great addition to a salad this summer, and that’s exactly how I plan to serve them.

Crispy Herbed Shrimp with Chive Aioli
adapted from Cooking Light, March 2012

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt
1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Pulse 1/4 cup of the panko, the parsley, thyme and red pepper flakes in the bowl of your food processor until well combined. Transfer this mixture to a wide, shallow bowl and add the remaining 1/2 cup of panko. Stir to combine. Place the cornstarch and egg whites in two separate wide, shallow bowls. Season the shrimp with the salt and pepper. Working with a few at a time, dredge the shrimp first in the cornstarch, then the egg whites, and finally the panko mixture (shaking off excess at each step). Transfer to a plate and repeat to coat all shrimp.

Set a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the pan. When the oil is shimmering, add half of the shrimp (if you don’t cook them in batches, they’ll crowd the pan and won’t get as crispy). Cook for about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. Repeat with remaining tablespoon of oil and the rest of the shrimp.

To make the aioli: Whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise, chives and lemon juice together in a small bowl. If you want to add a little heat you can throw in hot sauce or ground red pepper.