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Island Shrimp Lettuce Cups & GIVEAWAY!

11 Aug
I know you all are dying to know about the giveaway, so let me quickly tell you about this recipe. Basically in a nut shell, there’s a cup of butter lettuce full of sweet coconut almond rice, fresh pineapple, jalapenos, cilantro, coconut & cornmeal encrusted shrimp topped with a coconut milk & lime sauce. They are sweet and savory and are sure to please everyone! My 18 month old absolutely adored the sweet rice and my husband had at least 7 of these cups. And, I’m not even joking.

About the shrimp: I marinated them for about an hour in Saucy Mama’s Lime Chipotle Marinade. Man, is that stuff packed full of flavor! After I marinated them, I coated half in a cornmeal coconut mixture and kept half plain. The breaded shrimp took a nice hot bath in some canola oil and the plain shrimp were quickly seared in a hot pan with a little olive oil. Both were tasty, but we preferred the cornmeal coconut ones. Try them both out and see which you prefer!
Overall, this dinner was pretty easy to put together and absolutely perfect for summer! (Side Note: there are a lot of parts to this that you could break up over the course of your day if you’re busy! That’s what I did!)

Island Shrimp Lettuce Cups
yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
for the shrimp-
1-1 1/4 lbs shrimp (21-25 count), peeled & deveined
1 cup Saucy Mama’s Lime Chipotle Marinade
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
salt
pepper
oil of choice for frying (canola, vegetable, peanut, any light colored oil)

for the rice-
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup long grain white rice
1 1/2 cups good quality chicken stock
1 large bay leaf
salt
pepper
2 heaping tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/4 cup toasted sweetened shredded coconut

for the coconut lime sauce-
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon sugar
zest of 1/2 lime

1 head butter lettuce, leaves removed and washed
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1-2 cups diced fresh pineapple
1-2 fresh jalapenos, seeded & chopped
2 limes, cut into wedges

Directions:
In an air tight container, mix shrimp with Saucy Mama’s Lime Chipotle Marinade. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the rice-
Preheat large pot over medium high heat. Melt butter and stir in rice to coat. Stir in salt, pepper, sugar and bay leaf. Pour stock into pot and bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low until rice has softened completely, 20-30 minutes. Once cooked, remove from heat, stir in almonds and coconut. Keep rice covered to stay warm until service.

To cook the shrimp without breading-
Preheat large skillet to medium high heat. Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Place shrimp into hot pan in one even layer. Cook about 2-3 minutes per side or until shrimp turn pink and opaque. Remove from heat and keep warm.

To cook shrimp with breading-
Preheat large deep skillet to medium high to high heat with 3/4 inch oil. In shallow dish, combine cornmeal, coconut, salt and pepper together. Dip shrimp into mixture, being sure to coat well. (The marinade acts as a really great glue for the breading so be sure to not wipe any of it off!) Place coated shrimp into hot oil and cook 2-3 minutes per side until shrimp are pink and opaque and breading is golden brown. (*You’re going to want to have the oil hot enough for the shrimp to sizzle when they hit the pan, but not so hot that they burn before they cook. You can test one shrimp at first and adjust your stove accordingly.) Remove shrimp to paper towels, sprinkle with salt and keep warm.

To make the coconut sauce-
Mix coconut milk with sugar and lime zest. That’s it!

For assembly-
Scoop desired amount of rice into bottom of a butter lettuce leaf. Top with pineapple, jalapenos, cilantro, shrimp, sauce and more lime juice if desired.

——————————————————-
GIVEAWAY!

Saucy Mama was nice enough to send me some wonderful products–enough for me AND for my wonderful blogging friends/devoted readers!  So take a look at all these goodies you could win!

One lucky reader will be picked randomly to receive all these products.

Included in this prize pack is: Chipotle Mustard, Champagne Honey Mustard, Cracked Pepper Marinade, Parmesan Garlic Marinade, Raspberry Vinaigrette and Hot Wing Sauce. They all are made with high quality ingredients and are absolutely delicious. Marinades and sauces definitely make my life easier when I can’t think of anything to make for dinner!

HOW TO ENTER:
There are 5 different ways you can enter. For #2-5, be sure to leave a comment saying what you did so you get the correct amount of entries!

(1) Leave a comment
(2) Become a follower of GoLoKitchen through Google (see my sidebar)
(3) Become a fan of GoLoKitchen on Facebook (see my sidebar, or login to your facebook and search golokitchen)
(4) Follow us on Twitter (@golokitchen)
(5) If you have a personal blog, write a post about this giveaway with the link to this site. Be sure to leave the link to your site in your comment so I can check validity if you are chosen!

If you have already become followers or fans previous to this contest, still leave a comment saying you are already fans or followers! I want you all to get as many ballots in as possible!

RULES:
This contest is only open to legal residents of the U.S. AND Canada (assuming the shipment will pass through customs…remind me to tell you a funny story about that later 🙂 ).

Be sure to check back Friday for my second Saucy Mama recipe post. 
No entries past midnight (pacific) FRIDAY! 
The winner will be selected and announced Saturday morning! 
Good luck, everyone! 
And THANK YOU Saucy Mama!
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Cherry Almond Delights

9 Dec

Wow, did these cookies go FAST! This is another recipe that was requested by my family to be made again and again! They are soo tasty and perfect for those holiday parties coming up, or just for friends and family!
I first had a version of this cookie in college when my roommate, Amy, brought home some cherry chip cookies from the on campus bakery. We all soon became addicted because they were just so darn good! Well, she graduated and moved on and still to this day craves these cookies! So, Amy, this recipe is going out to you! I can’t find actual cherry chips (and I’m not sure if they even exist) so this recipe is very very close to the originals, but with a few extras!
The thing I love about these cookies is that they aren’t your typical cookie. Its so easy to stick with the same old recipes, but its refreshing to try something new! Especially when you know they’re going to be great! Anyways, go ahead and try something new today! Make some cookies for the honeys in your life!

Ingredients:
1 16.5-oz Tube Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough (or a homemade Sugar Cookie recipe would be great too!)
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 maraschino cherries, halved with stems removed
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Now for the Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Start out with some sugar cookie dough- any dough will do! I got this because it was on sale and its a serious time saver!
Into the dough, stir in some almond extract and flour. (If you’re using homemade dough, you probably don’t need the extra flour!) Once your dough is all mixed, divide it into 16 equal dough balls. (You may have more dough balls to stuff if you are using a homemade dough)

You are going to stuff these little babies with almonds,

white chocolate chips,
and maraschino cherries. Oh yeah! So good!
So, you take a ball of dough
push into it to make a depression,
And fill ‘er up! Stuff in a few almonds, a few chocolate chips and half a cherry.
Gently push the edges up to cover the filling.
Roll it back into a nice looking ball and then…..
roll it around in yummy coconut.
Place all your stuffed cookies onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 10-12 minutes until the edges are barely brown.
Mmmm….those chocolate chips and cherries are so tasty! YUM!
Cool 2-3 minutes and remove from baking sheet onto cooling racks. Store in airtight containers to maintain soft chewiness. Yield 16 large cookies.