Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cooking: Lime Coconut Shrimp

Here's a great, easy recipe to keep in mind when your local store has nice-looking shrimp for sale. I used "North Florida Hoppers," which were large shrimp in the shell. Any large shrimp will work for this recipe.

Lime Coconut Shrimp
serves 4

3 limes (best to use organic, as you'll be using the zest)
2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled and "de-veined"
14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Use a fine grater to remove the zest from one lime (I used a Microplane for this). Juice the limes (you need about 1/8 cup of juice).

Place the shrimp in a large sealable plastic bag (or put in a deep non-reactive bowl or other container). Add coconut milk and 3/4 of the lime juice and mix it all around. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the lime zest, salt and black pepper in a small bowl and mix together.

In a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat, lightly toast the coconut, stirring. Watch it so it doesn't get too dark. When it's light brown, remove the coconut to a bowl and set aside.

You can cook the shrimp various ways. To grill, generously coat your grill grate with oil and preheat on medium-high. Alternatively, heat an oiled grill pan over medium-high heat. Or, as I did, preheat  your broiler and adjust a rack about 5-6 inches away from the element.

Remove shrimp from marinade and discard marinade. Place shrimp on grill (or in grill pan or on a rimmed baking sheet under the broiler) and cook 1-2 minutes per side (under the broiler took a little longer, about 4 minutes total), until the exteriors are pink and the centers are opaque. While they are cooking, drizzle the remaining lime juice over them.

Sprinkle the cooked shrimp with the zest-salt mixture and some toasted coconut. Put the rest of the condiments on the table so people can add more if they like.

I served these with Thai red rice cooked with a little coconut milk and some salt, and some snap peas. They were really tasty as is (especially with a little extra of the toppings sprinkled on) and were also nice dipped in a little sweet chili sauce.

I think we'll be making this again when it's grilling season. I might thread them on skewers, which would make handling them on the grill a little easier.

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