Tuesday, March 22, 2011

-Coconut Shrimp Po'Boys-

Good morning!  So….if you are my Facebook fan, then you know that I had a few stores place orders last week.  Gourmet Rooster products will now be sold at Draeger’s Markets, Piedmont Grocery and the Royal Rooster in Clayton.  I am so excited about this!!  I am working hard to get into more stores, ASAP!  I want to make sure that you can buy my products at a store close to you so that you don’t have to order online and pay shipping.
We are now a couple of days into spring!  Although you would never know that here in Reno.  We are in the midst of several “winter storms”.  Apparently, Reno doesn’t get much of a spring.  I guess that is Ok….I love summer here so much, that I am willing to sacrifice spring. 
So even though there is snow still falling, I still felt like cooking something a little lighter.  No, I don’t really mean healthier ;)  I just mean something that says “warm weather” to me.  I have always wanted to make coconut shrimp at home.  I love ordering it when I am out, but it always seemed like it might be kind of hard to make.  Ummmm, it wasn’t. 
I think I have mentioned before that my family isn’t the world’s biggest seafood fans.  If there was a contest for that…I am pretty sure that I would win;)  But they just don’t love it the way I do.  I decided to put my little coconut shrimp into a “Po’ Boy” sandwich, in hopes of tricking them.  A “Po’ Boy” is a traditional sub sandwich from Louisiana.  There isn’t much a difference between a regular sub and a po’ boy….I just like saying po’ boy.  And typing it.  But…they do often contain fried shrimp, so let’s just go with it.
Coconut shrimp screams warm, sunny, tropical, etc.  I am sure that is just the coconut talking to me, but I felt it was only right to put on shorts, a tank top and flip-flops to properly cook it.  So I jacked up the heater and got to work. 
Above is what I used to “bread” my shrimp.  I used flour, (seasoned with salt, pepper and ground ginger) eggs, and a mix of panko bread crumbs and sweetened, shredded coconut.  The coconut is easily found in the baking section of your grocery store.  You will only need about a cup of it, but the rest will store nicely in your freezer.  Or you could make a boatload of macaroons….
I used a bag of defrosted peeled, tail on, deveined, raw shrimp…..26-30 count.  I didn’t want to mess with any peeling or deveining.  Plus, if I start to think about the veins at all, I get grossed out.  Oops-did I just gross you out?  Get the kind with the tail on because the tail will act as a handle when breading the little guys.
I start by dipping the shrimp in the flour.  Tap off the excess.  You really just want a light coating.  This kind of dries the shrimp so that the egg has something to grab onto.
Then the shrimp goes through the beaten egg…

And finally, it gets a dip into the breadcrumb/coconut mixture.  I really press the crumbs/coconut into the shrimp….I want it to stay on there when it fries.
I bread all of my shrimp first….When I deep fry, which comes next, I need to focus all of my attention to the actual frying.  I can’t multi-task when frying….I just can’t.
I fried my shrimp in vegetable oil.  It needs to be a light, flavorless oil.  I fill a pot with the oil, until it is about 4 inches up the side.  I can’t tell you how much oil to use; it depends on how large your pot is.  If you have a “Fry-Daddy”….use that.  And know that I am super jealous.  I have always wanted one.  I can’t get one though…..it would tempt me to fry everything.  And that could be bad.
I put about 5 or 6 in my pot at a time.  The shrimp will fry for about 3 minutes a side.  I flip them over once the bottom side is golden brown.  Your oil should be at about 375 degrees.  An easy way to see if it is ready is to toss a piece of coconut in and see if the oil bubbles up all around it…..
Once they are golden brown, remove them from the pot to a rack to drain.  Salt them and put them in a warm oven, like 170 degrees.  This will keep them warm until you are ready to use them.
Above is a picture of mine….I have 2 racks, I didn’t put my cooked shrimp where my raw shrimp had been…..Nobody wants a side of food poisoning with their po’ boy;)

I also made a yummy sauce to put on my sandwiches.  I used sweet and sour sauce, mayo and Sriracha hot sauce.  If you hate mayo (and everything else that is good and right in this world), leave it out.

I used a couple tablespoons of mayo, a couple tablespoons of sweet and sour, and a squirt of the hot sauce.  Yum!
Obviously, I cut the tails off before I put the shrimp in a sandwich;)  Wait, that was obvious, right?
I used white sub rolls that I got in the bakery section of my grocery store.  They are kind of like a baguette, but softer.  I spread the rolls with sauce, and topped them with the shrimp, lettuce and tomato.  Red onion would be good too.
OMG-these were so good!  The coconut shrimp is crispy, crunchy and delicious.  The coconut just does something to them that breadcrumbs alone could never do.  It makes them tropical and delicious.  You might feel like you are on the beach.  I did, until I heard the snow plow drive by;)
I hope you try this recipe.  Even if you don’t want to eat them in a sandwich….they are great on their own.  The sauce I spread on the sandwich is also a great dipping sauce!  Let me know what you think!
Coconut Shrimp Po’ Boys
1 bag defrosted frozen shrimp, 26-30 count
                -peeled, de-veined, tail-on
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon ground ginger
4 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
2/3 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
Oil for frying
2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
2 heaping tablespoons sweet and sour sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
Rolls, lettuce, tomato, sliced red onion
Set up breading station by placing flour, salt and pepper, and ginger in one bowl (mixed), eggs in another (beaten), and coconut and bread crumbs in 3rd bowl (mixed).  Hold shrimp by the tail and dip in flour.  Tap off excess.  Dip in egg, and finally coconut/bread crumbs.  Press coconut/bread crumbs into shrimp.
Heat oil in a deep pot to 375 degrees.  Oil should be about 3 to 4 inches deep in pot.  Fry shrimp in batches, about 3 minutes per side or until golden brown.  Drain on rack or paper towels.
For sauce, stir together mayo, sweet and sour sauce and hot sauce.
To assemble sandwiches: spread sauce on rolls and top with shrimp (with tails cut off), lettuce, tomato and red onion.

1 comment:

  1. Holy cow...those sound so good. Wish my family wasn't deathly allergic to shellfish!