Sunday, February 07, 2016

The Commander's Palace: Coconut Beer Shrimp with Sweet and Tangy Dipping Sauce

Okay, I admit it, I'm probably the only person I know who isn't watching the Super Bowl.  Is it just me, or does it seem like the Super Bowl is becoming a national holiday?  I don't seem to remember this level of obsession from when I was younger.  But hey, who can complain when it creates a fabulous opportunity to make delicious tailgating food, right?  And this year I decided to celebrate a game I'm not watching (hey, at least I know it's Broncos versus Panthers) with some delicious coconut shrimp.  Now, I used some shredded coconut that I shredded fresh and froze, and the shrimp aren't really sweet at all.  If you like your shrimp to have a sweet coating, go ahead and use that blue bag of sweetened shredded coconut instead.  Hey, it's a holiday, so calories are excused.

Note: I used Stella Artois for the beer and Crosse and Blackwell for the orange marmalade because that's what I had.

Coconut Beer Shrimp with Sweet and Tangy Dipping Sauce
Adapted from The Commander's Palace: New Orleans Cookbook by Ella and Dick Brennan

4 eggs
1 cup beer
3½ teaspoons Creole Seafood Seasoning (below)
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
48 large raw shrimp, peeled but with tails on, deveined
1½ to 2 cups shredded coconut, fresh or moist-pack
Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Sweet and Tangy Dipping Sauce
2 cups orange marmalade
¼ cup Creole mustard or Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons shredded horseradish

Combine eggs, beer, 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, flour, and baking powder.  Blend well.

Season shrimp with remaining seafood seasoning.

Dip the shrimp in beer batter and roll in coconut.  Fry in oil heated to 350°F in a deep-fat fryer, wok, or deep saucepan.  The oil should be at least 1½ inches deep.  Drop shrimp in a few at a time and fry until golden brown.  Remove and drain on paper towel.

Blend together dipping sauce ingredients.

To serve: Put a small bowl of the sweet and tangy sauce in the center of each plate.  Arrange 8 shrimp around it and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings

Creole Seafood Seasoning
4 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated or powdered garlic
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper, or to taste
1½ teaspoons dried thyme
1½ teaspoons dried basil
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
4 teaspoons paprika
2¼ teaspoons granulated or powdered onion

Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a blender, food processor, or mixing bowl, and pour the mixture into a large glass or plastic jar. Seal it so that it's airtight. It will keep indefinitely.

Makes about ½ cup

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