Is the winter chill bumming you out? It’s high time you took a vacation from the ordinary -- a quick jaunt to some place (any place) with ivory-sanded beaches and warm breezes laden with the scent of tropical fruits.
Ok, so it’s freezing out, the closest thing to a warm breeze you’ve experienced in weeks is the inadvertent steam facial you received when straining hot pasta, and who’s got the time and big bucks to just hop on a plane to paradise on a whim, anyway? When the weather outside is just plain grim, and the warmth of summer seems like an oh-so-distant dream, we're forced (albeit without much arm twisting) to bring the exotic locale and mellow vibes to our own kitchen table.
For a tropical vacation in a meal, look no further than this crunchy shrimp recipe -- a swift transport to lands unfamiliar with black ice and frost-bitten fingertips. The loud crunch of breadcrumbs and rich macadamia nuts deafens the traffic sounds outside. Warmly spiced coconut chutney, sweetened with pineapple juice and flecked with cilantro, invokes a gently swaying hammock in more equatorial climes. Floral pink finishing salt ups the exotic ante, pushing the finished dish into instant memory-making territory.
The shrimp can be baked to lighten things up a bit, or pan-fried in a smidge of oil with a high smoke point (try coconut oil for some healthy omegas and to ramp up the nutty flavor). The luscious chutney comes together in a snap, and while the shrimp would certainly be delicious on their own, the chutney lends a sweet and fresh balance to the macadamia crusted shrimp that is hard to resist. You’ll have dinner on the table before you know it (just add a simple green salad), and ample time to put your feet up and kick back with a mai tai (or two) -- no passport required.
Macadamia Crusted Shrimp with Coconut Chutney
2 lb. large shrimp (10-12 count per pound), peeled and deveined
1 1/2 cup raw, unsalted macadamia nuts
1 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs or other dry breadcrumbs
1 tsp. Murray River Australian pink salt or other finishing salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground fresh black pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups pineapple juice
2 cups unsweetened, dried, shredded coconut
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 Tbsp. ground coriander
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
1/2 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
See the full recipe at Whole Foods Market.
What culinary creations transport you to paradise? Have you ever used coconut in a savory preparation? Share your comments below!
Like this post? See the Easy Everyday topic from last week: Orna & Ella's Sweet Potato Pancakes.