Des and I are part of a potluck-style supper club that hosts an 'International Night' once a month. There are five couples, each of us taking our turn as 'hosts' about twice a year. The hosts choose a country and a date, then each couple then brings a dish of their choosing from that country. This month, our hosts decided to go with a Caribbean Winter theme, which was a lovely pick-me-up of flavours on a bleak February day.
The island-style cod, which was absolutely fantastic. I believe it was marinated in cream and hot peppers, giving it the perfect amount of heat. Then lightly battered and pan-fried. So very tasty!
The Caribbean salad was chock full of beans, corn, peppers, onions and flavourful herbs and spices. Served on a lettuce leaf it was one of my favourite parts of the meal.
I didn't get a good pic of the rice and beans, but you can see them on the plate. We usually go with a self-serve approach and, as you can tell, my focus was getting a tasty helping of each dish and not on plate presentation!
The meal was then topped off with the most delicious dessert I've had in a while: Chocolate Natillas with Coffee Bean Granita.
|Dessert chef putting the final touches on the treats.|
And of course, what's dinner without a nice bottle of wine. Depending on the country, we sometimes try to pair regional wine and other times (like when you know the region isn't known for great wine) we just go with a usual favourite. Or in my case, I went with one of the non-alcoholic beer left from the shrimp batter.
All in all another awesome evening of great food, great conversation and even better company.
Recipe for Beer Battered Coconut Shrimp
60 large shrimp
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 to 1 cup of beer
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
1 large egg
2 cups shredded coconut
1. Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tail piece intact. (or buy already peeled/deveined like I did!)
2. Combine 1 cup of the flour with the beer, baking soda, salt, cayenne pepper and egg in large bowl, Whisk until smooth.
3. Put other cup of flour in another large bowl. Dredge shrimp in this flour.
4. Put coconut in a bowl.
5. Holding shrimp by tail, dip in batter (allowing excess to drip off) and then dip in coconut. Press coconut into shrimp to help it stick. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet until all shrimp are battered.
6. Fry shrimp in vegetable oil in batches of about 8, turning once, until both sides are golden. About a minute total. Serve with dipping sauce.
Orange Rum Dipping sauce:
1 cup orange marmalade
2 tbsps (or more, according to your/my tastes!) of rum.
Combine marmalade and rum in a small pot. Simmer over low heat on stove for about 5 minutes. Serve warm or cool.