We lived around the corner from a chain restaurant called Bonefish Grill for almost two years before checking it out.
Hubby isn’t a big fish fan, and their logo (a fish skeleton) really is a terrible design because it doesn’t inspire thoughts of anything remotely appetizing.
But I had heard positive reviews from friends, and also their commercials made them sound pretty good, so we finally went just over a year ago. We liked it enough that we went back soon afterwards for my birthday dinner. This time, we tried their famous appetizer, bang bang shrimp. It was divine.
We’ve gone occasionally since then, but not often. We miss it terribly, mainly because of the bang bang shrimp.
Which is why the next part of my story is romantic, thoughtful, and just plain awesome.
My birthday was a few days ago. I think it was late morning when hubby casually asked, via gchat, what time I intended to leave work. I responded, “Around 4.”
He asked if I had any thoughts about dinner, and I replied that my only thought was that I didn’t intend to spend all evening cooking. I was willing to do something simple, given that we had plans to celebrate at a restaurant that weekend, but I didn’t want to spend much effort on it. He agreed that this sounded reasonable, and left it at that.
I pulled into the parking lot of my apartment complex around 4, about a half hour earlier than expected. Hubby’s car was inexplicably already there, though he normally wouldn’t be home until after 5, so a big grin spread across my face as I realized that he had a birthday surprise in mind. It made me think of the time I’d gone into school a bit early on my 15th birthday and found my friend in the middle of decorating my locker.
When I entered the apartment a minute later, I found cheesecake swirl brownies cooling, alfredo sauce being thickened, and a big bowl of raw shrimp being prepped. In addition to making shrimp fettucini alfredo, hubby was using a copycat recipe to make bang bang shrimp!
I don’t normally blog stuff he makes, but I felt that I needed to this time. Please excuse my less-than-awesome pictures. I was trying to stay out of the way.
He started by making a sauce with mayo, Thai sweet chili sauce, and sriracha hot chili sauce (more than the recipe called for, because it seemed to need it).
Next, he dredged raw shrimp in cornstarch.
After heating up some vegetable oil, he lightly fried them in small batches.
He drained them all on a plate lined with paper towels, just like with bacon.
Presentation is simple. In a dish, place some lettuce. I didn’t take pictures of that, sorry. But then place the shrimp on the lettuce and drizzle on the sauce. Or toss the shrimp in the sauce before putting them in the dish, as we did, just to make sure they’re evenly coated.
We’d already eaten a few before we remembered to sprinkle on some chopped scallions. So we did that.
So…. this was pretty much the best thing ever.
It was so romantic that hubby left work early, went to Wegman’s for ingredients, and was cooking this when I got home.
We both ate a full half pound of shrimp before taking a break and tackling some of the fettucini that he’d made. So much food, but so yummy. Hey, I only turn 29 once a year. The shrimp had such a nice texture, crispy yet soft and covered in the warm, creamy sauce. And the sauce was both sweet and tangy. Oh so good.
If you’re interested, here's the copycat recipe that he used.