Saturday, January 8, 2011

Shrimp & Bacon Club with Pommes Frites

This recipe is for 2 sandwiches. That said, these are huge and can easily feed 4 when cut in two. Absolute-a-ly de-licious! We love this sandwich. It is very much like one of the sandwiches we served at our tea room. I gave it a little twist, but other than that this is our shrimp and bacon. Funny, but true story...a lot of the Doctors from the local hospital ate in our establishment on a fairly regular basis. One Doctor in particular loved this sandwich. He ordered it quite often and picked it up to go when he had to. One day he came in to pick up his order and said to me, "I gotta tell you, I couldn't wait to get though with my last patient. All I could think about was getting to my shrimp and bacon sandwich". He said, he just kept looking at the clock and thinking it's almost lunch time! He was an OB GYN! Now you know what they're thinking!

*First prepare garlic mayo sauce and refrigerate to let flavors meld.

Garlic Mayo Sauce:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Several drops hot sauce, to taste

In a bowl, stir all ingredients well and refrigerate.

Belgian Fries or Pommes Frites
4 cups vegetable or peanut oil
2 to 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into uniform strips.

Frites Directions:
Pommes frites are fried twice. So this is a two step process. Fill a large heavy bottom pot or deep fryer 2/3 full of oil and heat for deep frying. A thermometer should read 325 to 350 degrees. Dry potatoes well so that they don't splatter when they are lowered into the hot oil. Lower potatoes in using a large spoon and fry for appoximately 5 minutes. Don't over crowd the fries. Fry in as many batches as you need to for your size pot. Keep in mind that you are not frying them completely. Just to a lightly golden color. When fries are the desired color, remove them and drain on paper towels in a colainder. This is the first fry. Let fries rest for as long as possible and then return them to the hot oil to cook to a golden brown color. This should only take 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oil again and drain. Using a large kitchen bowl (a salad bowl works well), place fries with salt and toss well. Serve hot with sauce, if desired. We used the garlic mayo sauce as a dip for the frites.

Shrimp & Bacon Club with Avocado and Garlic Mayo Sauce
(Ingredients make 2 sandwiches, 1/2 for each)

6 medium thick slices bread (I used French bread here)
8 slices bacon, fried and drained well
2 leaves Bibb lettuce or small handful of spring mix, washed if need be
4 slices tomato, washed and sliced
4 slices Swiss cheese
10 medium frozen shrimp, defrosted in warm water, tails removed
Hot sauce
1 avocado, seeded and sliced
8 extra long frilly sandwich toothpicks (4 for each clubstyle sandwich)

Add frozen shrimp to a bowl of warm water to defrost. Let sit while you fry the bacon. On a griddle or flat grill, fry bacon until crispy. Remove from grill, drain well and sit aside. Drain shrimp and pat dry with a paper towel. Lay shrimp on one side of the grill and add 2 to 3 drops of hot sauce to each. Fry on each side for 1 or 2 minutes. Set aside. Toast bread on the other side of the grill.

Assemble Sandwich:
Spread one side of each slice of bread with garlic mayo sauce.
Add 1 slice of cheese to a slice of bread and top with shrimp
Top shrimp with avocado slices
Top avocado slices with another slice of bread, mayo side down
Add mayo to the other side of the bread and add another slice of cheese
Add bacon to the cheese and top bacon with tomato slices
Top Tomato slices with lettuce and add slice of bread to top.

Here's where the tricky part starts. Stick a toothpick in each of the four sides of the bread in a cross type pattern, midway between the edge of the bread and the center. Using a bread knife, cut bread diagonally crisscrossing the sandwich in an X pattern. It's a little tricky holding it all together and cutting at the same time but you can rearrainge anything that falls out. Once sandwich is cut into four pieces, join two quarters together, end to end using toothpicks in top and bottom to secure together. Do this for each sandwich.