Last night it was V-Day so I made coconut shrimp for my husband. I’d never made them before, but it was very simple. You just take peeled shrimp, cover it with sweetened shredded coconut, place them on a lightly greased baking sheet and cook in a preheated 400F oven for about 15 minutes (for medium shrimp), flipping once.
It’s somehow tricky to attach the shredded coconut to the shrimp. It just falls off. I tried putting the coconut directly on the shrimp, coating the shrimp with mango sauce or egg whites, and then dipping it on the coconut, and doing so after dusting the shrimp with cornstarch. They all worked equally world, and Mike couldn’t tell the difference between them flavor wise.
I made a mango sauce to go with the shrimp, but Mike preferred them without it.
I wanted to make mushroom soup for my 2012 Christmas Eve dinner. Mika wanted butternut squash soup. I figured I’d compromise and find something else. For some reason I was set on having a savory fruit-based soup, so when I came across this recipe I felt I had found gold. It got amazing reviews, and I’d had great luck with other recipes from Emeril.
As things turned out, I was not too happy with the soup. I felt it tasted mostly of chicken broth, with only hints of coconut and none of plantains. If I was going to serve it, I felt I had to fix it – so I ended up adding the rest of the coconut milk from the can as well as 3 bananas and some nutmeg. The results were much tastier than before, and Mika was pleased.
I don’t eat shrimp myself, but according to my guests and my husband, the shrimp salad was delicious – both by itself and when combined with the soup. This is high praise coming from my husband, as he doesn’t like either tomatoes or avocados!
Plantain and Coconut Soup
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/3 cup small diced salt pork
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 1 small celery rib, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 4 tsp. curry powder
- 4 large yellow plantains with slightly green tips and some black spots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 1 can coconut milk
- 3 small bananas, coarsely chopped
- salt & black pepper to taste
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
Heat a soup pot over medium heat and add the oil. When hot, add the salt pork and cook until crispy, about 6 minutes. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and curry powder and saute for 30 seconds. Add the plantains and the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the plantains are soft, about 45 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the coconut milk and bananas. Puree the soup, either using an immersion blender (easiest) or in batches, in a regular blender. Return to the pot, taste and adjust seasoning.
Just before serving, reheat the soup and add the lime juice.
Place the sour cream in a small serving bowl and sprinkle the cilantro on top of it. Serve the soup with the salad (recipe below) and sour cream on the side. Before eating, combine the three elements.
Shrimp, Tomato and Avocado Salad
- 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and diced
- 1 tsp. creole seasoning
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 tsp. chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup diced avocado
- 1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Season the shrimp with the creole seasoning and set aside.
Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add butter and melt. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, avocado and cilantro and mix. Turn heat to very low. Season with salt and continue cooking until the shrimp is completely cooked through.