Smokey Shrimp Burgers with Fried Oysters

It's hard not to feel a little left out this time of year. You get invited to a barbecue and you know that there will be very little for you to eat. Potato salad is a wonderful thing, but it's not going to soak up the bottle of rosé you'll consume over the course of the afternoon. And, look, I totally get it. Burgers and hot dogs and chicken are cheap and easy to throw together. Some grilled veggies will make their way into the mix to give the vegetarians their fix. But most people are nervous about serving fish to a crowd. How do you prepare it? Will people eat it? Is it going to weird folks out?

I think most will get behind any kind of burger. On a hot summer day, who doesn't want to chow down on a big, messy sandwich while swigging from an ice cold beer? Which brings me to my point: seafood burgers are just as wonderful as the beef variety. Take, for instance, this shrimp burger. The patty is a combination of shrimp, grated apple and onion, some salt and pepper, and, for smokiness, a couple teaspoons of Chipotle Tabasco.

One might say I went a little overboard with the fried oysters, avocado, and mayo. But, really, when it comes to burgers, can you really go too far? No. The answer is no. Always.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Tabasco. Over the course of the year, I will be creating recipes featuring the Tabasco Family of Flavors and this is the first of those posts. All opinions expressed on my site are my own.

You can check out my recap from my trip to visiting Tabasco here.

Smokey Shrimp Burgers with Fried Oysters

Yield 4 shrimp burgers

Ingredients For the shrimp burgers 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 egg white 1 tablespoon grated onion 1 tablespoon grated apple 1.5 teaspoons Kosher salt .25 teaspoons black pepper 3 teaspoons Chipotle Tabasco 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro 1/3 cup bread crumbs Canola oil

For smokey mayonnaise 1/2 cup mayonnaise (we're a fan of Duke's) 1.5 teaspoons Chipotle Tabasco

For fried oysters 8 oysters, shucked and liquid drained 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon Kosher salt .75 teaspoons cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 4 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Burger toppings 1 avocado, sliced Mixed greens 4 hamburger buns or English muffins, lightly toasted or grilled


For the shrimp burgers

1. Coarsely chop half the shrimp and set aside.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, add the remaining shrimp, egg white, grated onion and apple, salt, black pepper, and Chipotle Tabasco and pulse until there's a mixture of finely minced pieces with a couple of coarsely chopped pieces. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the chopped shrimp, bread crumbs and cilantro, until thoroughly combined.

3. For each burger, take 1/3 cup of the mixture and form into four, 1 inch thick patties (roughly 4 inches round). At this point, you can cook them immediately or wrap and freeze for later use.

4. Set a large skillet with a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Cook the burgers 3-4 minutes on each side until they have browned and the edges turn pink. If all the patties don't fit in the skillet, repeat with remaining burgers.

For the fried oysters

1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cayenne pepper, and smoked paprika. Add the oysters to the flour mixture and toss until evenly coated.

2. Pour vegetable oil in a large, deep saucepan so it comes up 3 inches. Heat the oil to 360 degrees F.

3. Using a large slotted spoon, carefully place the oysters in the oil. Cook until golden brown, approximately 4-5 minutes. Line a plate with two layers of paper towels. Remove the oysters using the slotted spoon and transfer to the paper towel.

For the smokey mayo

1. In a bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise with the Chipotle Tabasco.

To assemble the burgers

Spread the smokey mayo on both halves of the buns/English muffins. Place the shrimp burger on top of the bottom half, followed by the avocado, greens, and fried oysters and remaining half of bun.