Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Coconut Shrimp (On a Stick!) with Mango Salsa

Everything tastes better on a stick. I don't know if it strikes our basic caveman instincts or schoolyard fancy, but serve up dinner on a stick and you will tickle and delight your guests. Or children. Or, heck, even yourself.

And of course you are not limited to dinner. Breakfast on a stick. Appetizers on a stick. Fancy cocktail party offerings on a stick. Booze on a stick!! And, of course, desserts on a stick.

Popular food writer Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites has come out with a lovely and whimsical book with every fun food you can imagine.. On a Stick!

On a Stick!
80 Party-Perfect Recipes
by Matt Armendariz
Paperback, 184 pages

The book is well laid-out with great photos of every delicious bite. It is divided into Savory and Sweet sections, with a range of recipes in each. Some simple, some a little more complex. Some fancy and some for the kid in all of us. There is definitely something for everyone!

Never before has my son been so tickled by a cookbook. On his list of recipes for us to cook up soon are:
Breakfast Pancake Dogs with Maple Syrup, Deep Fried Mac and Cheese, Pizza Skewers with Garlic-Butter Dipping Sauce, Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Honey-Mustard Sauce, Chicken and Waffles, Frozen Elvis, Fudge Pops, and Pineapple Funnels.

My husband has his eye on the Chinese Meatballs with Sweet-and-Sour Chili Sauce, Crispy Orange Beef Skewers, Fish Balls with Tartar Sauce, Dak Sanjuk, Bò Lá Lôt, Berries'n'Buttermilk Smoothie Ice Cream Pops, and the Cocktail Cubes.

Me, I want to try them all!

For our first night of cooking On a Stick!, we made the Coconut Shrimp with Mango Salsa. Deliciously crunchy and tropical - they were an absolute hit at our place. Try them yourself!

Coconut Shrimp with Mango Salsa
From On a Stick! Matt Armendariz.
Coconut-flavored shrimp with mango salsa is a lucky little recipe: It’s fruity and fun, but feels like elegant and luxurious at the same time. During the summer months, I always have fresh mango salsa on hand—it’s wonderful with pork, chicken, and all types of seafood. You can even enjoy it on a chip. Its versatility can’t be beat. 
Serves 4

4 bamboo skewers
12 tiger shrimp, cleaned and peeled with tails intact
Salt and pepper
3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 egg
3⁄4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1⁄4 cup almond meal
2 tbsp panko bread crumbs
1 qt vegetable oil

Mango Salsa
2 mangoes, peeled and diced
2 tbsp cilantro, minced
2 tbsp diced red onion
1 tbsp seeded and diced jalapeno
1 tsp minced garlic
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Toss salsa ingredients in a bowl, seasoning with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

3. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Combine flour, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a shallow dish; beat egg in a separate dish; in a third dish, combine coconut, almond meal, and panko.

4. Dredge shrimp first in flour mixture, shaking off excess, and then dip in egg. Dredge in coconut
mixture, gently shaking off excess.

5. Thread 3 shrimp per skewer. Place skewers on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate 1 hour.

6. After shrimp have chilled, preheat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Once oil reaches 350°F, gently drop skewers into pot and fry about 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden. Drain on a paper towel and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, with mango salsa on the side.

Excerpted from On A Stick! by Matt Armendariz Copyright © 2011 by Matt Armendariz. Excerpted by permission of Quirk Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission from the publisher