Monday, June 1, 2009

Coconut Shrimp With Coconut-Cilantro Rice And Rainy Days

Photobucket When it rains, it pours. Literally.

These past couple of weeks has been rainy down here in my neck of the woods. The southern part of the Sunshine State of Florida momentarily became gray and gloomy. Summer officially started, not with sweltering heat but rather, with a drenching downpour. Even as I write, outside dark clouds are beginning to gather and the day has started to turn dreary.

But, I am not complaining. For the most part, to me the rain has been a good respite to the otherwise hot and humid temperature in this part of the world. Our lakes were fast evaporating, the grounds were so dry and fires have ravaged our forests. So I say, it’s about time that we welcome heaven’s blessings, albeit wet. All I’m praying is that may these rainy days be NOT an indication of how the hurricane season would be like in the coming months (saying this with crossed fingers). Lord knows, the last thing we need in these challenging economic times is a catastrophic disaster in the likes of Hurricane Katrina. God forbid.
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Isn’t it funny how circumstances in our lives happen to match the weather sometimes? That’s just what happened with me. This past week had likewise been somewhat emotionally cloudy and dismal due to a death in the family.

A dear cousin of mine, Nok, as he is fondly called, passed away. He was in his mid 40’s.

Nok and I grew up together; we were quite close. When my own mother fell ill with breast cancer, he was there for us. He stepped in for me as I couldn’t be physically in the Philippines as much as I'd like to, being that I now reside in the U.S. He drove my parents to the doctors every week for my mother’s appointments, rounds of chemo and radiation sessions. Ironically, the day my mother passed away on 2007, was also the day Nok was admitted to the hospital. That was the day we discovered that he had failing kidneys; the same day he started his weekly dialysis.

Unfortunately, Nok’s health deteriorated slowly ever since until he took his last breath on Sunday, May 31st.

Dealing with death of a loved one has always been difficult, no matter the manner and time of their demise -- this and added to the fact that Nok has been the 4th of a series of deaths that occurred in my family this past 3 yrs. Among these deaths was that of Nok’s younger brother, who passed away just last year. So you can understand how much of a blow this is to our family.

In memory of Nok, I’d like to dedicate this dish to my dear cousin, who loved life and food. Nok, though your presence will be sorely missed by all who love you, I am sure that you are in a better place now where pain and suffering do not exist anymore. Nok, thank you with all my heart for all that you have been to me and my family. May you rest in peace.
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With that said, I'd like to share with you this Coconut Shrimp which I made with Cynthia's Coconut-Cilantro rice (of Tastes Like Home). This was made a while ago, but I've never gotten around to posting it. I don't know what got into me that night but I just was on a coconut mood.

To be honest, when I first got to the U.S. and tasted coconut shrimp, I did not like it. Uh-oh. Back in the Philippines, I grew up on shrimps simply prepared by steaming them with garlic, gingeroot, salt, pepper and vinegar (and sometimes with a touch of lime soda). However, Mr. J took me to Island Breeze one day - a restaurant that serves Jamaican food - and we had the coconut shrimp served with a spicy honey-mustard dip as appetizers. That was my point of no return. I became a convert. I fell in love with the dish at that moment. And the sauce. Oh, the sauce.... That's it, it must have been the sauce!

Anyhow, after that night, I promised myself that I have to try and re-create the dish, and the sauce. But while making the coconut shrimp, I had a big Aha! moment. I remembered Cythia's Coconut Cilantro rice. Why not give it a try? And I did. I'm so happy that I did. Cynthia, your rice rocks! This was very good, and I thought, it was the perfect pair for the shrimp. Thank you very much.

We had such a wonderful meal, I just wish we were having it at a restaurant by the beach. :o)

This dish is also my entry to Lasang Pinoy (La.Pi.S) Sunday - Pearly Shells
. La.Pi.S is a weekly food thematic event. If you want to know more, check it out a here.

For the Coconut-Cilantro Rice recipe, I will not be posting it here in deference to Cynthia. If you want a copy of the recipe, pls. go here . Drop a note to Cynthia and I'm sure, she'll be glad to share it with you.


Coconut-Shrimp
adapted from Cooking Light

18 unpeeled, large fresh shrimp
1 cup coconut milk (or butter milk if you don't have it)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup beer
1 (7-ounce) package sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs ( I used Panko breadcrumbs)
Peanut oil (I used canola)
Salt

Peel shrimp, leaving tails on. Butterfly shrimp by making a deep slit down the back of each from the large end to the tail, cutting to, but not through, inside curve of shrimp.

Stir together coconut milk, cilantro, and lime juice in a large bowl. Add shrimp, tossing gently to coat. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Drain shrimp from mixture (do not pat dry).

Whisk together flour and beer in a small bowl. Combine coconut and breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Dip shrimp into beer batter; dredge in coconut mixture, pressing onto shrimp. Place shrimp on a baking sheet; freeze 20 minutes.

Pour oil to depth of 2 inches into a Dutch oven, and heat to 350°. Cook shrimp, in batches, 2 to 3 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towels, and sprinkle lightly with salt. Serve immediately with the Mustard Sauce.

Mustard Sauce

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients
1/3 cup pineapple preserves
1/3 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup stone-ground mustard

Dash of hot sauce, if preferred

Preparation
Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill.


40 comments:

Happy cook said...

Wow the shrimp and the rice looks so yummy and perfect looking too.

zoe said...

I looooove coconut and I love shrimp! Great photos!

Justin said...

coconut shrimp is one of my favorite things, but I've never tried making it at home

abby said...

shrimp looks great, i might try this one time! :)

raquel said...

oh jescel...i know how you feel...it's been a year now for us and we still can't believe that it happened. i am praying for Nok and for your family.. i am sure he'll be happy to know that you are moving on and remembering him through your passion for food and photography.

Manang said...

First, I would like to express my sympathies for your losses. Nok was such a young guy when he died, with a very serious morbidity that we see most commonly in elderlies...

Second, those shrimps look awesome, and reading the ingredients and method, I was drooling while imagining making them! I have like the coconut shrimps that I tasted first in a Chinese resto here, but they are never consistent; at times they taste like old/moldy coconuts. I am so gonna try this. Good thing your recipe uses sweetened coconut flakes, as they are the only ones available here!

5 Star Foodie said...

Yum - coconut shrimp & rice look so delicious!

Mirage said...

I'd have seme for lunch please!

I feel for you, my dad recently died of kidney failure and its difficult. Just two days ago I said I wouldn't want to go home to the Philippines because somebody died...then I received the news yesterday that my dad died...and I must go home...

oggi said...

I've never tried shrimps cooked like this before...it looks delicious.

We normally cook shrimps with vinegar and coconut milk spiced with garlic and black pepper, adobo style.

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Coconut covered shrimps mmm they look crispy and nice color... The rice looks divine and yummy!!! so perfect on a rainy day!!!

Fearless Kitchen said...

This dish looks absolutely wonderful - a really fresh take on a dish that is too often prepared badly.

I'm so, so sorry for your loss. I lost my grandmother a few weeks ago, due to (among other things) kidney problems. For my family, while we miss her, we can be somewhat consoled by the fact that she's out of pain now. It's probably not much comfort, but sometimes every bit helps. You and your family are in our thoughts.

Zee said...

Oh Jescel...I'm really sorry for your loss...I've also lost people that I love and I sympathize with you...

This is such a lovely food to make in memory of your cousin... I'm sure he would love it...

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Shrimp is my most favorite food and yours looks fantastic. I don't know why but I rarely ever make shrimp at home but with a recipe like this I soooooo need too!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Two wonderful recipes! Your rice and shrimps make me hungry!

Cheers,

Rosa

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

What a beautiful looking dinner. You go Jescel. There would be no left overs in this house.

unconfidentialcook said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, and please do come again. Your shrimp, and site, look great--happy to meet you!

The Duo Dishes said...

Your coconut shrimp looks perfect. What skill. And we love our rice studded with goodies too. Sweet coconut does the trick.

The Diva on a Diet said...

What a beautiful post. I'm really touched by your words of tribute ... and the shrimp looks gorgeous too! Love, love coconut shrimp and yours look amazing!

Annie said...

What a beautiful tribute to your friend Nok. I'm sorry about your loss.
Your right, I guess the weather lately does match the situation.

As I sit here eating supper (Baked shirmp), I am imagining how delicious yours were. Have to try this one.

Selba said...

The food definitely look so delicious.

Sorry for your losses.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

That first pic of the shrimp is making me drool! Sadly I have granola for breakfast and not this delicious shrimp :( hehe

Donna-FFW said...

I adore coconuut shrimp and these lok gergeous. Coating isincredible!!

Sara said...

I love coconut shrimp, it's been ages since I had any. I definitely want to try this!

pigpigscorner said...

Both look so mouth-watering! Sounds perfect together.

Cynthia said...

So sorry to hear about your cousin.

Liza said...

Oh my, the shrimp and rice look absolutely delish!

♥peachkins♥ said...

I'm sorry for your loss Jescel and I'm sure he is much happier now that he is with our creator.

This dish sounds like a perfect match.

Pam said...

I am a HUGE coconut lover so this is my kind of meal. Great recipes and really excellent photos.

noobcook said...

I'm really sorry for the loss of your loved cousin, my thoughts are with you and your family.

The shrimps look absolutely tasty and so nice served with the cilantro rice :)

Juliana said...

Both the shrimp and the rice look amazing...love the coconut flavor in it. Great pictures!

Jude said...

That looks like the perfect rainy season recipe. Seems so deeply flavored. Pretty cool how there's beer involved, too.

Kevin said...

You had me at coconut shrimp and then you went on to add the coconut cilantro rice! They both sound great!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

both sound amazing! something i'd totally love. very exotic.

oh, so sorry to hear about your cousin...this is why we should all live our life to the fullest. we'll never know what a new day bring.

stay happy and yummy

Crossmyheart said...

Jes, your pictures make your food look scrumptuous!

bTW You've been awarded with the Lovely Blog Award..

http://crossmyheartjewelry.blogspot.com/2009/06/lovely-blog-award.html

Dhanggit said...

what a perfect combination!! can i eat with my hands ?? LOL yummy photos too!!

Jackie @PhamFatale.com said...

Everything looks so delicious. I love the cilantro coconut rice, it sounds so elegant. thanks for sharing.

ICook4Fun said...

So sorry to hear about your beloved cousin. It's never easy being away from our home country.

I love coconut shrimp but never attempt making it myself.

ces said...

my sincere condolences:(
now for those shelly dish...yum! even the rice looks so good!...i'm sure they're a perfect combo!

Tangled Noodle said...

Jescel: This comment is terribly late and I hope that it won't bring back sad memories but I want to send you and Nok's family my deepest condolences. Your cousin is a wonderful soul and he will continue to be with always.

This dish is a perfect tribute to him and I know that many of us will enjoy making it and knowing the special meaning behind it!

Food of Miami said...

My condolences to you and your family... Laughs and memories that happen around the dinner table are some of the blessings that we can always look back on and smile.

Your photographs are beautiful! Fantastic Recipe!