Chef Todd Wilbur has come out with "Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2," the sequel to his best-selling first edition. Wilbur teaches the tricks to make restaurant favorites at home without waiting for the check.
The American seafood giant describes this savory dish as "jumbo butterflied shrimp hand-dipped in batter flavored with Captain Morgan Parrot Bay Rum and coconut flakes, and served with pina colada dipping sauce."
Sure -- if it's fried, it must be good, but fans of the dish say the best part is the pina colada dipping sauce. And it's true. That sauce is so good you could eat it with a spoon. However delicious, the coconut shrimp definitely jumps out from behind the shadows.
Red Lobster's secret formula includes Captain Morgan's Parrot Bay rum, which sweetens the batter and adds a great coconut flavor (plus you can whip up a nice cocktail with it while you're cooking, if that's your thing). Panko bread crumbs, which give a nice crunch to the batter, can be found in the aisle of supermarket where all the Asian foods are parked.
This secret recipe makes two times the size of a serving you get at Red Lobster, so there should be enough for everyone. The real thing comes with salsa on the side in addition to the pina colada sauce, but you may not even want to include it.
Pina Colada Dipping Sauce
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup pina colada mix (liquid)
¼ cup crushed pineapple (canned)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 to 10 cups canola oil (amount required by fryer)
12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about ½ pound)
1½ cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons Captain Morgan's Parrot Bay coconut rum
1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
½ cup shredded coconut
Salsa, on the side
Prepare pina colada dipping sauce first by combining all the ingredients. Cover this and let it chill out in the fridge while you make the shrimp.
Heat oil to 350 degrees.
Measure ¾ cup of flour into a medium bowl. In another medium bowl mix together the remaining ¾ cup flour, sugar and salt. Stir milk and rum into flour mixture. Let this batter stand for 5 minutes. While the batter rests, combine panko bread crumbs and shredded coconut into a third medium bowl.
Butterfly cut each shrimp before you start the battering: Use a sharp knife to slice through the top of the shrimp (where the vein was) so that you can spread the shrimp open. Leave the tail intact.
To batter the shrimp, dip each one in the flour, then the wet batter, then coat each shrimp with the panko/coconut mixture. Arrange the shrimp on a plate until all of them are battered.
Fry the shrimp by dropping six at a time into the hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the shrimp are golden brown. Remove shrimp to a rack or paper towel to drain.
Serve shrimp with pina colada dipping sauce on the side, along with a small dish of your favorite salsa, if you like.
Serves 3 to 4 as an appetizer.
Thank God boring salads are out! You can take a bed a greens from dull to decadent with this recipe. With pecan-crusted chicken, topped with mandarin oranges, sweet glazed pecans, celery, dried cranberries and blue cheese, all tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette, you'll get a kick in the mouth without making a dent in your wallet.