I don’t know about you, but my appetite definitely changes when the temperature goes up. When it’s especially hot outside, even the thought of eating hot food turns my stomach. On days that aren’t so hot, I can manage hot food, but don’t want anything too heavy, and that’s where today’s dish comes in. This was actually what my husband and I made for our anniversary, and it was incredibly delicious!! The coconut shrimp have a lightly sweet flavor that’s balanced by the cayenne in the breading and the freshness and tang of the pineapple salsa. Honestly, we thought they were just as good as what’s served in restaurants (and at half the price!). And for all that flavor, they weren’t hard to make. The breading process is pretty simple, then they bake in the oven while you stir together the salsa. They were fresh, filling, and so tasty. I seriously recommend you make them soon.
Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa (from the April 2002 issue of Cooking Light)
For the shrimp:
1 1/2 lb. shrimp (about 28 large) (Shrimp size doesn’t actually matter as long as you adjust your cooking time accordingly. We used teeny shrimp that cooked really fast.)
1/3 c. cornstarch
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp.-3/4 tsp. cayenne
3 egg whites
1 1/2 c. coconut
For the salsa:
1 c. finely chopped pineapple (They specify fresh, but canned worked just fine.)
1/3 c. finely chopped red onion (I had my salsa without this and thought it was great. My hubby added red onion to his and said it was delicious.)
1/4 c. finely chopped cilantro
1/4 c. pineapple preserves (Since I didn’t want to buy an entire jar of pineapple preserves for just 1 recipe, I substituted some orange marmalade that I had on hand – it worked great! I would recommend sticking with something in the citrus family, though.)
1 tbsp. finely chopped, seeded jalapeno
1 1/2 tbsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel and devein the shrimp, but leave the tails on. (We had bought peeled, deveined, tail-less shrimp, and they worked wonderfully, although the tail makes a nice handle if you want to buy some that way.) Rinse the shrimp in cold water and drain on paper towels.
2. In a shallow dish, stir together the cornstarch, salt, and cayenne. Place the egg whites in a medium bowl and beat them on medium-high til frothy (about 2 minutes). Place the coconut in another shallow dish.
3. Working 1 shrimp at a time, dredge them in the cornstarch mix, then the egg white, and lastly the coconut, pressing it on gently with your fingers. Place the shrimp on a lightly greased baking sheet and repeat til all the shrimp are coated. Spray lightly with Pam. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once, til the shrimp are done. (Our teeny ones only took 4 minutes per side, so don’t forget to adjust if you’re using a different size.)
4. In a medium bowl, stir together the pineapple, red onion, cilantro, preserves, jalapeno, lime juice, and black pepper. Serve alongside the shrimp.
Have you ever tried recreating one of your favorite restaurant’s recipes at home? If you did, what recipe was it and how did it turn out? If you haven’t yet, which one would you most like to try mastering for yourself?