Appetizers are one of the great pleasures in life that can quickly get out of hand. Noshing before a meal is a relaxing social ritual, but it’s also a true test of self-control. It’s entirely too easy to pop an entire meal’s worth of finger food in your mouth before the main meal is even on the table.
A wise solution to this dilemma is to follow the advice that mothers everywhere preach to their children: moderation in all things. Or, (no offense to Mom) you can deal with your cravings for finger food a little more creatively. Why not turn finger food into an entire meal?
Coconut Shrimp meet all the requirements for irresistible and guilt-free finger food: a little salty, a little sweet, crunchy, and flavored with a satisfying amount of healthy fat and protein. Serve the shrimp with a plate of raw vegetables and you’ve got yourself a meal – no utensils required. And because no finger food is complete without something to dip it into, a bowl of chive mayonnaise served on the side is a must.
De-vein and peel shrimp, leaving tails on. Combine coconut in a bowl with almond flour and salt (if the coconut flakes are fairly large, consider throwing them in the food processor for a minute for a smoother texture). Whisk eggs in separate a bowl. Drag the shrimp through the egg then the coconut mixture so each shrimp is well covered. Starting with 1/4 cup, heat the coconut oil in a pan. Drop a pinch of coconut into the pan – if it sizzles, the oil is hot enough.
Fry the shrimp in batches until the outside is browned, about 3-5 minutes a side. If the oil becomes dark and/or starts to smoke, clean out the pan and start with fresh oil. Coconut Shrimp taste best when eaten immediately.
The first step is making sure the coconut oil is not solid or milky in color. It should be in liquid form and completely clear. To achieve this, melt very slowly on the stove and let cool, or set the jar of coconut oil in a bowl of warm water for several minutes.
If you’ve never broken a sweat in the kitchen before, you’ve never tried whisking mayonnaise by hand. Give it a try – it’s fun and will give your arms a surprisingly good workout (if you must, you can use a food processor or blender instead).
Whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly add the oil, 1 teaspoon at a time, as you whisk. As the color of the yolks becomes lighter and the texture thickens you can add 1 tablespoon or more of oil at a time. Transforming the yolks and oil into mayonnaise will take about five minutes of whisking. At the very end, whisk in salt and lemon then add chives.
Serve with Coconut Shrimp and enjoy!