- Yield:serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:45 minutes
- For the brine:
- 1 cup beer
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot)
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- For the batter:
- 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne peper
- 1/4 cup beer
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
- Canola oil, for frying
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch, for dredging
For the brine: Combine the 1 cup of beer with the salt, sugar, and hot sauce in a medium bowl and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add the shrimp to the brine and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Drain the shrimp from the brine and set aside.
For the batter: Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, black pepper, salt, and cayenne in a large bowl. Add the beer and the milk to the cornmeal mixture and stir until a homogenous batter is formed. Stir in the cheddar cheese.
Pour enough oil into a large heavy skillet to reach a depth of 1 inch. Heat the oil over moderately high heat until it reaches a temperature of 350°F on a deep-fry thermometer.
Place the cornstarch in a shallow dish. Dredge the shrimp in the cornstarch, making sure to shake off any excess cornstarch from the shrimp. Dip the coated shrimp into the batter, allowing any excess batter to drip from the shrimp. Place the battered shrimp in the hot oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Drain the fried shrimp on a paper towel-lined platter. Grate some additional cheese over the hot shrimp. Serve the shrimp with lemon wedges and/or additional hot sauce.