Thursday, July 31, 2008

If You Like Pina Coladas...

Do you ever just get that craving? You know, the one where you can think of nothing else until you satisfy that craving? Well, I had that this week. The craving was Coconut Shrimp. Now, I don't know where this craving came from because as a general rule, I don't eat seafood. I have eaten shrimp in the past, but it's not something I order or usually even buy. So, this week at the grocery store, I found myself ringing the doorbell at the seafood counter. Once again, let me say that I am not *that* seafood savvy. Laying there amongst the ice were three sizes of raw shrimp - [what I consider to be] regular size, bigger than regular and oh-my-gosh-it's-shrimp-on-steroids size. The steroidal price was just as unappealing. do I get? The regular size WAS kinda small, not salad shrimp mind you, but kinda small - THOUGH, they were already de-veined. Certainly the bigger size had more meat on them, but did I want to go through the trouble of de-veining each one AND pay $2.00 more per pound? Well, my alter ego, Cheapo McFrugalpants took over and ordered a pound of the regular sized headless swimmers. Jacob was thoroughly creeped out by the lobster tank by the time I got my little white package of shrimp, so we checked out and took the treasure home. Oh, my husband was MORE than thrilled to hear we were having coconut shrimp for dinner. Though, he did mention, "I think you are supposed to have the bigger shrimp for this." Me - "These are regular size, they should be fine." (do you hear myself reassuring myself?) In preparation for this endeavor, I started rinsing and peeling the shrimp. My thoughts sort of went like this: "Boy, I'm sure glad I didn't get the ones with the veins." "Wow, the shell comes off of these pretty easy." "(about half way through) "Hmm...there are quite a few shrimp in one pound." "Maybe I SHOULD have gotten the bigger ones - there wouldn't be as many." "No, these will be perfect." "Gosh, I'm sick of peeling these things." At this point, I've already prepared the 3 dipping bowls and had the oil ready to fry. "OOhh, these are going to be great! I'm so hungry!" Wait, something was missing. Kurt decided to turn on my favorite Mexican cha cha music and since there was so much Pina Colada mix leftover from the recipe - hey, why not? So we drank our pinas and felt the groove while making the dipping sauce (because it needed to cool while we fried the shrimp). On to frying! I did the dipping while Kurt did the frying - it seemed to work out very well with 2 people. Dip, dip, coat, dip, coat, fry. Dip, dip, coat, dip, coat, fry. About half way through, Kurt asked how much was left. Wide eyed, I just stepped back so he could see the "bigger-than-he-had-hoped" pile of shrimp. I asked if maybe we should stop. He said no, fry them up! So away we went. Dip, dip, coat, dip, coat, fry. As my fingers were well coated and starting to prune up (I think), I was realizing that I wasn't so hungry anymore. The drink had half filled me up and the coconut shrimp craving just didn't seem as strong as it once was. Matter of fact, I think I had had enough of shrimp for a LONG time - and I hadn't even eaten one yet. Anyway, we finished the shrimp and it was DELICIOUS! Kurt tasted one first so I asked him if the taste was worth the effort. He said, "Do you mean we should we have used bigger shrimp?" (still trying to defend my choice) "NO - I meant does the taste equal the work involved?!" I'm laughing at myself right now; why am I always so stubborn? I have to work on this. Oh, to finish off, the shrimp was great - I recommend it. Although, next time I would use bigger shrimp and would even consider the Schwarzenegger shrimp along side of steak for a dinner party. The dipping sauce alone would even be tasty over ice cream or used as a fruit dip. And if you don't like shrimp or don't have time to deal with the prep - use chicken - I'm sure it would be delish!

For your enjoyment, here is the recipe I used.

Parrot Bay Coconut Shrimp
1 c. plain bread crumbs (I used seasoned)
1/2 c. cornstarch
1 c. sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 c pina colada mix
1 TB powdered sugar
3 TB Captain Morgan's spiced rum
1/2 c. cornstarch
vegetable oil for frying
1/2 lb. large shrimp (butterfly the shrimp - oops, I didn't do that which is why mine curled) I used a whole pound of shrimp and used up the coating fine.

Dipping Sauce: (we doubled this recipe)
1 c. pina colada mix
1/2 c. water
2 TB crushed pineapple, drained (used a bit more)
1 TB sweetened coconut flakes
PLUS: 1 t. sweetened coconut flakes
3 TB powdered sugar PLUS
1 t. powdered sugar
1 1/2 t. cornstarch
3 t. cold water

Mix bread crumbs, 1/4 c. cornstarch, & coconut in deep bowl and set aside. Combine pina colada mix, powdered sugar & rum in a small mixing bowl and set aside. Place 1/2 c. cornstarch in a separate bowl. Heat oil for deep frying. Oil is ready for frying shrimp when it reaches 375 degrees. Coat shrimp first in corn starch, then into pina colada mix, athen dush shrimp in crumb/coconut mixture. Second coating, place back into pina colada mix then again into the crumb/coconut mixture. Hence - dip, dip, coat, dip, coat, fry. Place prepared shrimp carefully into hot oil. Fry until golden brown, remove from fryer and drain. At this time, we salted the shrimp as it needed that salty/sweet contrast. I think it would've been too sweet without it.

For the dipping sauce: (do this first as it needs to cool) Mix pina colada mix, water, crushed pineapple, coconut and powdered sugar in a sauce pan. Heat on medium low temp until sauce begins to simmer, stirring frequently. Let mixture simmer slowly 10-12 minutes. Mix cornstarch and water together, add to sauce and blend well. Let mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes longer while stirring during and after adding cornstarch. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature. Sauce is served at room temperature with Parrot Bay Rum Shrimp.

If you try this, leave me a comment and let me know how you like it!

So...sing it with me..."If you like Pina Coladas...getting caught in the rain..."


Michelle Pendergrass said...

Mmmmm. Pina Coladas. :)

The shrimp sounds SO yummy!

Except I'm singing Garth Brooks, "So bring me two pina coladas--I want one for each hand--let's set sail with Capt'n Morgan and never leave dry land--Hey troubles I've forgot 'em--I buried 'em in the sand..."


Toni said...

There IS some mix left..ya know..:)

Michelle Pendergrass said...

Dang. I didn't read this soon enough. I'll have to remember to subscribe to the comments!