Fate, Coconut Shrimp and Four Memes

Friday, February 22, 2008

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Do you believe in fate? That everything happens for a reason? That some things are just meant to be? If so, then read on.
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I was out to dinner with my family last weekend, enjoying a nice meal, when one of the servers brought out a plate of lovely, sizzling hot coconut shrimp and set it down right in front of me. I love coconut shrimp, and my husband and I marvelled at what gorgeous shrimp it was. It made my mouth water. The thing of it was, neither of us had ordered coconut shrimp. I wanted to keep it anyway, but my better half pointed out that it wouldn’t be right. That some hungry diner had actually ordered that coconut shrimp and was most likely sitting nearby, anxiously waiting for it. Oh POOH! I hate it when he plays the ethics and fairness cards on me! Of course, he was right and I reported the mistake to our server, who took the shrimp away and delivered it to its rightful owner.
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I thought about that shrimp many times over the next few days. How beautiful and succulent it looked! How heavenly it smelled! I could have just made some for myself, but as I’ve already disclosed here, fried foods are not my forte. As a matter of fact, I have attempted coconut shrimp several times before, with pretty dismal results. I’ve ended up with burned shrimp, soggy shrimp, and shrimp where the coconut wouldn’t stick and ended up in the bottom of the frying pan. I’ve never been able to achieve that crispy, golden brown, coconutty crust, and I finally gave up trying.

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The other day, I popped into my local supermarket to pick up a few things, and I was greeted by a wonderful and familiar smell. The Publix Aprons lady was in her demo kitchen and she was making…are you ready for this…coconut shrimp! (Insert Twilight Zone theme here.) I hightailed it over there to get my sample! Mmmm! It really hit the spot!
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I’ve posted about Publix’s Aprons program before. Each week, they feature a different recipe and have all of the ingredients conveniently laid out in one handy place with printed recipe cards. I’ve gotten some great recipes there. This coconut shrimp recipe definitely had some greatness potential, but given my history, I wistfully moved on.
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When I got home, I flipped on the Food Network. As I was putting my groceries away, I could hear Paula Deen’s thick Savannah drawl as she talked about “sreeyump”. I looked over at the TV screen and sure enough, Paula was making…can you guess…COCONUT SHRIMP!!!
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This was just too much! I can be a little dense at times, but you didn’t have to hit me over the head with a brick for me to realize that someone was trying to tell me something.
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“MAKE COCONUT SHRIMP!!!”
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I turned around, got in my car, drove back to Publix and bought the ingredients to make some coconut shrimp.

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Both Apron’s and Paula’s recipes were very different. I couldn’t decide which to use, so I took parts of both and improvised a little on my own. Since I had recently overcome my fear of frying, I filled a deep pot with about two inches of peanut oil and began heating it up. (By the way, I did find that candy thermometer) Then, I set up my assembly line of flour, beaten eggs, panko and coconut and went to work.



I don’t know. Maybe practice makes perfect, or maybe the coconut shrimp gods were smiling down on me, but this time, my coconut shrimp were OUTSTANDING! Seriously, every single one turned out perfectly. There wasn’t one burnt, soggy or naked shrimp in the lot. I served them with a spicy pineapple/apricot sauce and watched them diasappear. Even my daughter, who doesn’t care for shrimp, ate them.
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It was a miracle. It was fate. It was meant to be.

On another topic, things have been a little busy here in SGCC land this week. I have been tagged with not one, not two or three, but FOUR memes! Amazing! All these months, I waited to get noticed and…nada. Now, four memes in the span of a week. I’m very flattered and excited to share a little about myself with all of you. Since coming up with some interesting information about myself will take a good, long while, I will do a meme post this weekend. I just want to let my “taggers” know that it’s coming, and thank them for thinking of me. Stay tuned!

Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Pineapple-Apricot Dipping Sauce

For the dipping sauce:
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1/2 cup pineapple preserves
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup pineapple-apricot horseradish sauce (Silver Spring brand) or honey mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sambal oelek (Thai chili sauce)(more if you really like it spicy)
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Mix all ingredients together in a small heatproof bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and set aside.

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For the shrimp:
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1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 tsp kosher salt
1 lb jumbo peeled and deveined shrimp
canola or peanut oil for frying

Put about 2 inches of oil in a large, deep pot. Begin heating oil to 325 degrees F. While oil is heating, prepare the shrimp as follows.

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Place flour in a wide, shallow plate or baking dish.

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Place eggs in a wide, shallow bowl.
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Combine panko, coconut, allspice and salt in another wide, shallow plate or baking dish. Dip each shrimp in flour, coating both sides. Shake off any excess. Dip into egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Then, dip shrimp into panko/coconut mixture, patting it into the shrimp to stick.
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Carefully, drop the shrimp into the oil, 5-6 at a time, and fry until golden brown, no more than 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat until all shrimp are cooked.

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Serve shrimp with Spicy Pineapple-Apricot Dipping Sauce.
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Enjoy!

If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy:

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33 responses to Fate, Coconut Shrimp and Four Memes

  1. On February 22, 2008 at 12:12pm, Obsessive Foodie or Food Addict....You Decide said...

    One, Two, Three……….CLEAR
    pthump……she is not responding, one more time (panic shrills) ONE, TWO, THREE……..CLEAR….pthump

    SHE’S BACK

    good thang we got those paddles

    those look too good to be true!

  2. On February 22, 2008 at 12:38pm, Peabody said...

    Coconut shrimp is the best!

  3. On February 22, 2008 at 3:07pm, Gabi said...

    Oh my…I mean OOHH MY!
    My sweetie will be so happy when I make these for him- he loooves coconut shrimp. Thanks a bunch and looking forward to your “quatro-meme”! :)
    x x x

  4. On February 22, 2008 at 3:08pm, sweetnsavory said...

    omg, i want that right now!

  5. On February 22, 2008 at 3:13pm, Deborah said...

    One of my favorite things, but I’ve never made them at home. And I have a handy, dandy fryer to make things like this easier, so I’m bookmarking this recipe!!

  6. On February 22, 2008 at 4:01pm, RecipeGirl said...

    Your post makes me want to shuffle off to Friday afternoon Happy Hour and order some deep fried seafood!!

  7. On February 22, 2008 at 5:29pm, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Obsessive- Never mind the shrimp. I’m going to have a heart attack laughing at your comments! :D

    Peabody- Thanks. I think so too.

    Gabi- Thanks. I’m glad you like them. I’m working on those memes. I’m just not that interesting! ;)

    Deborah- This recipe was the first time they ever came out right. I think it was the egg. Go for it!

    Sweetnsavory-Glad you like them. They were easy to make.

    Recipegirl- A margarita would be the perfect thing with these!

  8. On February 22, 2008 at 6:50pm, Aran Goyoaga said...

    That’s a great story! Funny how things turn out right? I do believe in fate by the way. And I love coconut shrimp too!

  9. On February 22, 2008 at 7:10pm, Gretchen Noelle said...

    Wow! What a delightful story! So glad they turned out delicious!

  10. On February 22, 2008 at 8:13pm, Mandy said...

    those coconut shrimps are perfect!

  11. On February 22, 2008 at 9:12pm, Manggy said...

    That’s awesome. Few things are as delicious as fried shrimp with a sweet-spicy dipping sauce :)

    Can’t wait to see the memes, hehe :0

  12. On February 22, 2008 at 9:30pm, Brilynn said...

    I so need to give this a try! I love coconut shrimp but have never attempted it myself.

  13. On February 23, 2008 at 5:52am, superluckykitchen said...

    you make it looks soo easy

  14. On February 23, 2008 at 6:03am, aforkfulofspaghetti said...

    The addition of coconut’s a new one on me – looks fab, though, so I’m just going to have to try these out…

  15. On February 23, 2008 at 11:30am, nicisme said...

    This looks amazing, especially that sauce!
    Can I just say thanks for the printable recipe page, it’s a great idea and I hope you don’t mind but I am updating my recipes with it too – thanks to you!!

  16. On February 23, 2008 at 1:35pm, Owen said...

    Wow, looks delicious! I’m going to attempt this for the first time. One question, do you use the sweetened coconut found in the baking section of the grocery store? Wish me luck! I have a talent for botching a PB&J. ;)

  17. On February 23, 2008 at 4:29pm, Bellini Valli said...

    I have never attempted to make this at home…thanks for the inspiration!!! They just look so succulent waiting for me to dip them in that sauce :D

  18. On February 23, 2008 at 7:03pm, Tartelette said...

    I luuuurvvve coconut shrimp! They turned out simply sinful! Great job!

  19. On February 23, 2008 at 9:37pm, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Aran- Thanks. I believe in fate too. By the way, I’ve really been enjoying your blog and your beautiful creations.

    Gretchen- Thank you. I was just glad I didn’t burn them!

    Mandy- Thanks! That’s sweet.

    Manggy- Thanks! I agree. I’m so glad I figured out how to do it right! Those memes are giving me fits! I’m really pretty boring. ;)

    Brilynn- Go for it! If I can do it, it will be cake for you.

    Superluckykitchen- Thank you. It’s just a facade! ;)

    aforkful- Coconut shrimp is very popular here. The coconut gives the shrimp a realy nice crunchy sweetness.

    Nicisme- You’re so welcome! I always like to print the recipes otherwise I forget where I found them. Feel free to do it too. I’m glad you found it helpful.

    Owen- I did use the sweetened coconut. You can also find the unsweetened kind in the freezer section. Good luck. I’m sure it will be great!

    Valli- I really loved that sauce! Try to find that pineapple-apricot horseradish if you can. It’s made by Silver Spring and I found it in the refrigerator section, near the butter and eggs.

    Tartelette- Thank you. I love them too. We’re both good Southern girls! ;)

  20. On February 24, 2008 at 8:21pm, Cakelaw said...

    Best lookin’ sreeyump ever!

  21. On February 25, 2008 at 3:18am, Vissy Valentine said...

    I believe that sambal oelek is Indonesian chili sauce :D

    Can’t wait to try out the recipe!

  22. On February 25, 2008 at 10:03am, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Cakelaw- Lol! Thanks. That is exactly how she says it, too.

    Vissy- Sorry. I should have done my homework. I assumed it was Thai because I’m always served it as a condiment in my favorite Thai restaurant. My jar just says “fresh ground chili paste”. It is made in California. What do I know? Thanks for pointing it out. :)

  23. On February 25, 2008 at 9:20pm, EAT! said...

    The shrimp look amazing! I may just have to give your recipe a try.

  24. On February 26, 2008 at 3:08pm, Julie said...

    I love coconut shrimp but I am really drawn to that dipping sauce, that sounds wonderful.

  25. On February 26, 2008 at 8:32pm, Kevin said...

    That coconut shrimp looks amazing! I have been wanting to try making coconut shrimp for a while now. Bookmarked

  26. On February 26, 2008 at 10:00pm, michelle @ Us vs. Food said...

    i *luurve* coconut shrimp, and this specimen looks fantastic. yet another recipe tagged for the “to cook” list!

  27. On February 26, 2008 at 11:54pm, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Eat!- Thank you. I’m glad you like them.

    Julie- The dipping sauce is wonderful. I had some leftover and I used it with chicken fingers one night and pork chops another night. It goes with everything!

    Kevin- Thanks! Let me know how it turns out.

    Michelle- Thank you! I have one of those lists too. It never seems to get any shorter! ;)

  28. On February 27, 2008 at 12:19pm, Patsyk said...

    OMG! I am completely drooling right now!

  29. On February 27, 2008 at 1:14pm, Cate said...

    My mouth is totally watering right now. Made my first batch of coconut shrimp about a year ago – so good and so easy. Mmmm, just might have to hit the table this weekend. ;)

  30. On February 27, 2008 at 9:31pm, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Patsyk- Stop! You’re making me blush! :)

    Cate- Welcome back! I hope all is going well with the new baby. Glad you like the shrimp!

  31. On January 13, 2009 at 4:59pm, Anonymous said...

    By 1/2 pineapple preserve etc., does that mean 1/2 cup?

  32. On January 13, 2009 at 5:17pm, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    Anonymous- So sorry. Yes, it is 1/2 cup.

  33. On October 02, 2009 at 4:54pm, carmen said...

    There is 1 tsp baking powder in your ingredients list, but I can’t seem to find it in your instructions on where it goes. I’m guessing it goes with the flour?

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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