Fried Shrimp Batons

by Marina Chotzinoff

We moved back to Denver shortly before our wedding in 2002. Having been a chef and caterer respectively and self-declared food snobs coming from San Francisco, we were a bit worried about finding a good caterer. Denver had been improving in the food scene but we were still disappointed after several interviews with caterers who lacked imagination and had never heard of sriracha. We finally settled on someone who would let us provide the recipes and some guidance. Since the beef short ribs they had cooked for our tasting were flavorless and about as tender as mouthful of rubber bands, we also gave strict instructions for the meat and Ryan cooked the sauce the morning of our wedding.

One item we created for that day were these skinny, fried shrimp items. I call them batons a bit unwillingly, but I suppose that’s what they are. They were my favorite item in the cocktail phase of events so I was bitterly disappointed that the plate that had been saved for me while photos were being snapped (forever) was missing the shrimp things altogether. Alas, I can make my own and today I did. They are just as satisfying as I remember.

Fried Shrimp Batons with Apricot Dipping Sauce

Makes a dozen
1/3 pound shrimp, peeled
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t dry sherry
1 t soy sauce
1/4 t sesame oil
1 t canola oil
won ton wrappers
2 T apricot jam
1/2 t soy sauce
1/2 t chili garlic sauce
1/2 t grated ginger
1/2 t lemon
1 green onion, finely sliced

Coarsely chop shrimp, toss with garlic, sherry and soy and a pinch of salt.

Mix jam, soy, chili, lemon and ginger together.

Heat oils over medium heat and cook shrimp until just barely cooked. Stir in green onion and cool.

Set a won ton wrapper on the counter with a point facing you. Place a small amount of shrimp along bottom, wet top corner and roll tightly. Do the same until you are out of shrimp.

Fry in a generous amount of oil (doesn’t AT ALL hurt to throw a spoon of bacon fat in there) on all sides until deep golden brown.

Serve with sauce.

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