Friday, March 23, 2012

Tropical Tapas Feast

We made the most delicious (if not the most healthy) meal the other night and I just had to share. I had picked up some polenta the other day with the intent of making baked polenta fries and everything else just fell in to place after that. I got the idea for baked polenta fries from a really great blog called A Cozy Kitchen but I was too lazy to make my own polenta so I just bought the pre-made stuff and cut it in to frie sized sections. Then all you have to do is bake them at 450 for about 20 minutes and they are perfectly crispy and delicious! I misted mine with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt before baking and they were perfection.

Crispy baked polenta fries

Anyway, shrimp was on sale at Publix this week and I thought, perfect! Coconut shrimp would be great with baked polenta fries! To make my coconut shrimp I just used a mixture of about half and half panko bread crumbs and shredded coconut for the breading. I wanted to fry them in coconut oil but we didn't have enough so we ended up using peanut oil and they were still pretty darn tasty. We dipped the shrimp in a beaten egg, dredged in the breadcrumb mixture and fried in oil until the shrimp was bright pink and the breading was golden brown, mmm soo good!

Coconut fried shrimp
To top off our trio of appetizers we made some tostones, or fried green plantains. These are one of our favorite appetizers and so easy to make it's ridiculous. All we did was slice the plantains thin and fry until golden brown (we also used peanut oil for this). These are best served with some kind of dipping sauce but I'll get to that in a second.

Lastly we needed something to dip all this deliciousness in some we whipped up some Sriracha lime mayonaise. For this we used 3 tablespoons of mayonaise, 2 tablespoons of Sriracha, juice of one lime and a healthy scoop of garlic chili sauce for extra heat. Just stir all these things together and you've got yourself a fantastic sauce.

Sriracha lime mayo
All in all it was great hit, Eric enjoyed his meal with a beer and I have a feeling that would be wonderful (I miss beer). Regardless of the beverage though the whole meal made me feel like I was on vacation. I wouldn't eat that much fried food every day but it sure was nice for a special treat!

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