2 lbs. medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup beer (I like to use Newcastle Brown Ale)
1 1/2 cups flour for dusting
Vegetable oil for frying
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
2 canned chipotle chiles, chopped
1 large tomato, diced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup water
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2-3 tbsp. honey
1. For the batter: Combine all the batter ingredients into a bowl and mix until combined. Add the beer and whisk until smooth. Set aside at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
2. For the sauce: Heat 2 tsp. of olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the chopped red onion and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add all the other sauce ingredients except the red wine vinegar and honey and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook about 15 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened and the mixture has thickened. Let cool a bit, then pour into a blender/processor and blend until just smooth. Pour into a bowl and stir in the vinegar and honey. Set aside.
3. For the shrimp: Pour about 3" of vegetable oil in a skillet and heat until about 350F (hot but not smoking hot). Place 1 1/2 cups of flour in a shallow bowl and toss in the shrimp to coat. Add the shrimp to the batter bowl (shake off any excess flour from each shrimp before adding to the batter) and stir to combine. Batter is thick, so get your hands in there to make sure all the shrimp are covered.
4. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, add the shrimp in 2 batches (do not overcrowd) in the hot oil. Fry until lightly golden and crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Drain the shrimp on a paper towel-lined platter.
5. Serve with the Honey-Chipotle sauce on the side. But, hey, if you really want to wow, serve this with a plethora of other dipping sauces, e.g., Lime and Cilantro Tartar sauce http://thegrubfiles.blogspot.com/2012/07/fish-chips.html and/or fresh Cocktail sauce http://thegrubfiles.blogspot.com/2012/12/panko-fried-sea-scallops-with-cilantro.html