Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Coconut Shrimp

I love seafood and I am always trying to come up with ways to get "haters" to try it. It seems that many people refuse to eat seafood even though they have never really tasted it (or at least any of MY cooking).  Sometimes they even go as far to fake allergies in order to avoid offending the cook! While I can't guarantee that this recipe will get everyone to love seafood it is a wonderful and easy to make ahead dish that works as a main or appetizers. Most recipes for coconut shrimp include a quick dip in the deep frier but these are made in the oven so you can have a few extra with out all the guilt!

I recently made 4 lbs of shrimp using this recipe to use as appetizers for a party I hosted it actually gets really easy and mindless after the first few batches! I loved being able to bake them ahead of time and then just quickly crisping them up in the over right before serving. We actually had lots of left overs so I saved a bag full (once cooked stick in freezer to individually freeze then stick in a zip top bag till you are ready to reheat) and have been using them as a fun little appetizers when the girls come over for our after work glass of wine...they are better for you than breaking out some cheese and crackers! I used a store bought Mandarin Orange and Ginger Vinaigrette dressing for dipping sauce (and it was delicious - Shop Rite brand if you would like to try and find it)  but if you want to go homemade just look for something asian and citrus flavored.

Coconut Crusted Shrimp
1 lb jumbo size shrimp (21 -25 ct are my favorite size but feel free to use 16/20 or 26/30 if you prefer larger or smaller)
1/2 c coconut flakes (I used sweetened)
1/2 c panko bread crumbs
1 egg - beaten
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
salt & pepper
cooking spray (canola oil in misto) 

1) Make sure all shrimp are cleaned and patted dry
2) Set up a 3 step battering station of mix of (1) spices and flour, (2) egg and (3) coconut and breadcrumb mix
3) Send shrimp through batter steps 1 to 3 and then place on baking sheet coated with spray (or non-stick)
4) Cook at 350F for 10-12 min then flip and cook for about 5-7 more minutes

If storing place baking sheet in freezer until solid and then store in zip top bag until ready to use. Reheat at 350 F for 10 min (or until heated through)