Saturday, December 30, 2017

Coconut Shrimp and Delicious Dips

The other day I was aimlessly perusing recipes looking for something fun to make and I came across a recipe for Coconut Shrimp.

I LOVE seafood.
If sea scallops weren't approximately a million dollars a pound I'd eat them A LOT.
But it's not just the scallops...salmon, shrimp, crab...honestly pretty much anything that used to live underwater other than catfish.
Nope.  Not touching catfish.
I love seafood so much that even in those 5+ years I spent as a vegetarian I *occasionally* cheated and ate a seafood dish.
So a fun shrimp recipe?  It definitely caught my eye.

Now to be honest, I have pretty much zero experience with coconut shrimp- eating it or making it.
That being said, I enjoy shrimp.
I like coconut.
And I LOVE orange marmalade and horseradish- two ingredients in the dipping sauce.

Yes, this was a recipe that simply had to be made.
I even had all of the ingredients on hand- and how often does that happen with a random recipe like this?
It doesn't.

So I set to work making my coconut shrimp, possessing zero experience but all of the materials.
Sometimes all it takes is dauntless confidence, right?
Not to mention making these meant I'd have the opportunity to fry up a few of those leftover Crab Rangoon I had in the freezer.  ;-)

If you've ever fried anything breaded this process will feel fairly familiar.
The shrimp is dredged in a seasoned corn starch mixture before being dipped in foamy egg whites and coated in shredded coconut.

Now...should you happen to click on that link down at the bottom of the post to check out the original recipe, you'll notice something.
Notably, that this recipe was supposed to be for baked coconut shrimp.
It....wasn't good.
Not at all.  The flavor was there but the texture was not.
So I fried them- and they were delicious!

So yeah.  Sorry they're not healthy.
I've decided to be ok with that fact.

Now for my favorite part- the dipping sauce.
I've always had a thing for sauces, to be honest.  They tend to be one of my favorite parts of a meal.
Yes, that's right- three.  All three of them are flavors I love and I so enjoyed dunking those crispy little shrimp into this sauce.

Mustard gets mixed together with orange marmalade and horseradish.
It's that easy!  Growing up my mother let it be known that she despised horseradish and therefore I thought I disliked it too well into adulthood.  Turns out that- much like was the case with asparagus- I was missing out and she and I have very different tastes.  :-)

Horseradish is delicious.  End of story.

Anyway, so you have your crispy, golden brown shrimp.
You have your tangy, spicy, sweet, and citrusy sauce.

Go nuts.  Enjoy!
I know I did.

1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 C cornstarch
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 C flaked sweetened coconut
3 egg whites, beaten until foamy

1. Heat oil in a deep fryer (or deep pan) to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  Rinse and dry shrimp with paper towels. 

2. Mix cornstarch, salt, and cayenne pepper in a shallow bow; pour coconut flakes in a separate shallow bowl. Working with one shrimp at a time, dredge it in the cornstarch mixture, then dip it in the egg white, and roll it in the coconut, making sure to coat the shrimp well.

3. Fry shrimp in batches: cook, turning once, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.  Using tongs, remove shrimp to paper towels to drain.

1/2 C orange marmalade
2 tsp stone-ground (or dijon) mustard
1 tsp prepared horseradish

1. Whisk the orange marmalade, mustard, and horseradish together in a bowl. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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