Summer has officially come to an end, so thought I would post a "Summer Season Finale" recipe that fully embraced the fantastic flavors I've enjoyed cooking with over the last few months! Don't be intimidated by the picture - this is an incredibly easy dish to get on the table and you'll swear you spent good money at restaurant instead of making it yourself. This dish was inspired by the gorgeous view of the ocean and refreshing mojitos I enjoyed in the Florida Keys a couple weeks ago! My company is celebrating our 75th anniversary this year, and our South Florida office was treated to a stay at the beautiful Hawk's Cay resort. I had an amazing time relaxing in the sun and of course, partying with some great people. Unfortunately, the fish taco lunch I had at our resort didn't come close to living up to my expectations, but it did get me thinking about the perfect summer meal to match my surroundings.
|Hawk's Cay Resort - Florida Keys|
Mojito Shrimp & Coconut Rum Glazed Plantains
1 c. coconut rum
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled & deveined (optionally, leave tails on and skewer shrimp)
4 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
Zest & juice of 2 limes
1 tsp minced garlic (approximately 2 cloves)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 semi-ripe plantains (skin should be yellow w/ black spots)
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Equipment Needed: Small pot, large non-stick skillet(s), grill (optional)
If you are serving rice, beans, or other sides it's best to start those first as the shrimp and plantains don't take long to cook at all. To make the glaze, dissolve the brown sugar into 3/4 cup of the coconut rum over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, then simmer until the liquid reduces by half.
After 5 - 7 minutes or so, you'll know the glaze is thick enough when it coats the back of a spoon. It should be the consistency of maple syrup. Remove from heat and set aside; it will thicken slightly as it cools.
While the coconut glaze was cooking, I used the time to prep my remaining ingredients and heat my grill. Chop your herbs, zest your limes, and skewer your shrimp if you haven't already. My apartment was a little cooler than usual that day so my coconut oil was in solid form - it doesn't take long at all to melt in a warm kitchen though.
To make the mojito marinade, combine 2 tbsp coconut oil, 1/4 cup coconut rum, mint, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and zest in a small bowl. Whisk well, and season with salt and pepper.
Pour the marinade over the skewered shrimp, and allow to marinate up to 15 min, turning frequently. If you are not grilling your shrimp, they can simply be added to the bowl of marinade and tossed to coat well. Typically I would advise you to soak your wood skewers in water prior to using (to avoid burning) but with such a quick cooking time on a George Foreman Grill, I skipped that step this time and didn't have any issues.
The plantains can cook while your shrimp marinates. Slice them on a bias, approximately 1" thick. Am I the only person who doesn't use plantains that are so ripe the skin is black? I think when they're just starting to get ripe, they are still sweet, but also firm enough to slice easily and don't have to be deep fried. In a skillet heated to medium high, melt 2 tbsp coconut oil. When the oil is hot, add the plantain slices.
Cook about 4 minutes before carefully turning them over to cook on the other side another 2 -3 minutes or until golden brown with crisp edges. The smell of plantains cooking in coconut oil, like most anything else, is amazing! Reduce heat to low and drizzle 2 - 3 tbsp of the coconut rum glaze over the plantains just before serving. That's it! I told you this was an easy one.
If you're cooking in a skillet, heat it to medium high before adding your shrimp. Cook 2 minutes before turning them over to cook on the other side, and add a few tablespoons of coconut rum glaze to the pan in the last minute of cooking.
The first time I made this, I just used my George Foreman Grill. Since there is already coconut oil in the marinade, I didn't brush the grill with any other oil. I just placed my skewers on the grill and cooked 2 minutes on each side, basting with the coconut rum glaze as they cooked. I closed the grill just for 30 seconds or so towards the end to get a little bit of a caramelized sear on the shrimp.
I'm really picky about shrimp being cooked just until done, and not a minute longer, so if the intent is to serve them hot you really should have your plates ready to go before you cook the shrimp. They only take a few minutes to cook and nobody wants overcooked, rubbery shrimp, so serve right away. Not that these aren't great cold too, if you wanted to add them to a nice salad!
I served the Mojito Shrimp over my Coconut Rice & a pot of vegan black beans. The beans were flavored with garlic, ginger, diced onions, red pepper, and a few spices that I'll keep secret until I get a chance to post my recipe! (Gotta keep y'all coming back right?)
How amazing do these plantains look? I didn't think plantains cooked in coconut oil could get any better until trying these with the coconut rum glaze. Candy-coated heaven if you ask me! Yes, it's a lot more sugar, but unless you're eating these all the time there's nothing wrong with indulging once in a blue moon.
Summer, on a plate!