How much do I love coconut?? Well, I add it to my oatmeal, pancakes, brownies, cookies. I cook with coconut oil and coconut butter. I use a coconut scented shampoo, perfume oil and body scrub, and keep a coconut lip balm on my night stand. When we go out for a drink, I just tell the bartender to give me anything involving coconut rum. I'm sure there's more, but we'll stop here for now as I'm sure I painted the picture. That being said, words can not express how thrilled I was to see this coconut shrimp and rice with spicy mango sauce dish on Rachel's wonderful and cleverly named blog, Me, Myself & Pie (also be sure to check out her "Better than Sex Cake" - I'll be trying that one out very soon). Her photos alone will have you drooling at your desk - food porn at it's best!
I used Rachel's recipe pretty much exactly (see her blog for her step by step photos and instructions):
1 tsp canola oil
2/3 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
12 oz. mango nectar
1 habanero pepper
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 lb. large to jumbo shrimp
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flake
1/2 cup panko (would've liked the whole wheat variety, but my store was out)
1/3 cup cornstarch
3 egg whites, slightly beaten
8 tsp canola oil, divided
1 cup water
3/4 cup brown basmati rice
3/4 cup light coconut milk
chopped cilantro to taste
For sauce heat 1 tsp oil in saucepan and saute onion, ginger and garlic for three minutes. Add nectar and pepper. Bring to boil. Cook until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Place in blender and process until smooth. Stir in lime juice and salt. Let cool (I liked this chilled).
For shrimp breading, place coconut in blender and pulse until finely chopped. Add panko and pulse to combine. Place cornstarch, egg whites and coconut panko in small dishes. Dredge each shrimp in the cornstarch, then egg whites, then coconut.
Heat a large skillet with 2 tsp canola oil to coat. Add 6-7 shrimp at a time. Coat tops of shrimp with cooking spray. Cook 2-3 minutes each side or to desired doneness. Repeat with remaining oil and shrimp. This is a teeny bit of a PIA and I had some trouble getting my breading to stick (probably because I used egg whites from a carton), but it is so worth it in the end, I promise!
For the rice, combine the water, rice, coconut milk and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Stir in chopped cilantro.
Serve shrimp along side rice with a healthy amount of dipping sauce - this sauce is Da BOMB!!
So this dish is a little higher in cholesterol and carbs than I usually like, but we all need a day off, right? With the omission of butter, egg yolk and cream, using unsweetened coconut and brown rice, and with my original intention of using whole wheat panko, I still felt this was "healthy cooking blog" worthy. This was very, VERY much worth the little cheat! Thank you Me, Myself & Pie!! I hope you all give it a try.
Oh, and I followed this dinner up with a fabulous carrot cake (a somewhat healthier version). I'll post that soon. My husband and I enjoyed a really great dinner and dessert - I highly recommend. >;-)