I suppose it happened this time because I just booked a trip to Universal Studios Orlando as a surprise for my husband's birthday. High five to anyone who correctly guesses how often my dear supportive husband actually reads his wife's blog. (He doesn't.) That's OK - I will reward that support via a full insufferable day in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Naturally thoughts of Florida led to thoughts of Bubba Gump Shrimp, which seem to be everywhere in the sunshine state. Plus, I have a box of coconut in my pantry that I've been tossing onto everything lately. To maximize the flavor in my version of the famous shrimp, it only made sense to fry the shrimp in coconut oil.
By itself the shrimp was what you might expect - breaded tropical fried seafood. But when I topped it with my strawberry-blood orange salsa, something wonderful happened. The whole dish morphed together into a rich, buttery unexpected treat. This savory salsa also works well on other types of fish or grilled chicken.
If you're attending a large gathering, this will make a pretty little appetizer for Easter Sunday! Or any other event for that matter.
Blood Orange Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 blood orange
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup fine 00 unbleached flour or gluten-free oat flour
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
1/2 cup plain Panko or gluten-free bread crumbs
1 lb. large marinated raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 cup peeled, finely diced jicama
1/2 cup finely diced strawberries
1 blood orange, peeled and diced
1 medium shallot, sliced thin
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup vinaigrette (recipe above)
Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour half of the vinaigrette, about 1/4 cup, over the raw shrimp and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. Set aside the remaining vinaigrette for the salsa.
Melt the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Set out three separate bowls, one for the flour and the second for the egg. In the third bowl, combine the coconut with the bread crumbs. Dredge the marinated shrimp in the flour, followed by the egg and the coconut crumb mixture. Fry the shrimp in small batches until golden brown and slightly firm, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a towel lined plate until ready to serve.
Toss together all of the ingredients in a bowl. Spoon over the cooked shrimp or into individual ramekins to be served at the center of each plate.
Yield: 4 servings