Faced with a fridge full of leftovers begging to be used, overflow inspires tonight’s menu. With summer in official swing, I seem to be craving nothing but heat and sweet. So it will come as no surprise that island flavors inevitably made their way to the table with this tropical appetizer.
In my shrimp starter, sweet shrimp and spicy soup are accented by fragrant coconut and fresh basil to create a summertime appetizer that is as healthy as it is heavenly.
It’s a fun and funky way to bring the sizzle of the city sidewalks to the plate. So start your summer supper off with a duo of coconut infused creations tonight! You’ll be the coolest place in town.
Coconut Tempura Shrimp
20 pealed and deveined shrimp, tails on, split down the back
2 cups desiccated coconut
Go to gluten-free batter
sea salt and black pepper
Coconut Carrot Spiced Soup
5 large carrots, chopped
1 leek, sliced
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup blanched or slivered almonds
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
3-4 cups homemade vegetable stock or water
salt and pepper
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons tri color pepper confetti
2 large handfuls basil leaves
1 garlic clove
1/2 bunch chives
1/2 lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
sweet chili sauce
To make the soup
1. saute leek and carrots in olive oil on medium heat, adding the garlic after about 5 minutes of cooking. 2. Add the almonds and spices and stir to cook out for about 15 seconds until fragrant. Season gently and then add the stock or water and let ingredients simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
3. Puree the soup with a hand blender or transfer to a blender and blend in batches. Check seasoning and consistency and thin out if necessary. This soup can be made a few days ahead or keeps for 2 months when frozen.
To make the basil chive pesto:
1. Add basil, garlic, chives, a splash of lemon juice, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times, then with the motor running add olive oil until you reach a desired puree consistency. Reserve covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
To make the Coconut Shrimp
1. Make the Go-to Gluten Tempura batter. Pour the desiccated coconut onto a plate.
2. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and run the shrimp through the batter and coat with the coconut.
3. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep saute pan on medium high heat until it shimmers. Fry the shrimp in quick batches cooking no more than 1 minute per side- drain on a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle sea salt and a little bit of pepper on top to finish.
1. Run the basil-chive puree across the plate, placing 5 shrimp along the line.
2. Pour the hot soup in a small appetizer serving bowl and dot the coconut milk across the top and finish with the tri pepper confetti.
3. Sprinkle sweet chili sauce and pepper confetti across the plate to add a sweet and spicy kick to the shrimp.