Grenada is the last stop in our week of Caribbean cooking and I can't believe our adventure is almost over. Darn, the unpacking is such a pain, isn't it? LOL
The area of Grenada is made up of the island along with six smaller islands located northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, northeast of Venezuela and southwest of Saint Vincent and The Grenadines. Grenada was all but wiped out by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, with 37 people killed and 10,000 left homeless. Ninety percent of the buildings on the island were damaged or destroyed, but thankfully recovery is in process. Grenada is known as The Spice Isle as it provides 20 % of the world's supply of nutmeg, along with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace and allspice. Bananas and cocoa are also grown here.
Dinner last night was one of our favorites because we both love shrimp and really like plantains - I thought it was particularly enjoyable since the big guy did the cookin' in the outside kitchen. Hey - I don't allow no deep fryin' in the house - sure don't want to mask the curry smell from the night before. Ha.
When you're making a stand alone dinner like coconut shrimp, you really need to make sure your shrimp are top quality. We had no problem with ours - we bought them at Sprouts 16-20 size and they were unbelievable. The recipe is quite simple - merely bread the cleaned shrimp in panko crumbs, then dip in egg wash mixed with rum, garlic, salt and pepper, then a final coating in coconut before they hit the deep fryer. Download Rum Coconut Shrimp
"They were crispy on the outside and moist and meaty on the inside" - that's a direct quote from the big guy. What he also said was that they were "succulently delicious" - hey who's writing this blog anyway? Now, as for the plantains - these were the ripe variety rather than green ones. How can you tell? The ripe ones are brown on the outside, and the green ones...are well they're green. Dahh. The vegetable guru at Sprouts pointed out the best ones to us and gave the big guy a lesson at the same time. What can I say - we love this place!
The big guy cut the peeled plantains in about 1-1/2 inch pieces, then deep fried them until they were golden brown. He then removed them from the fryer and squished them down to about a 1/2 inch depth, and put them back in the fryer until they floated to the top. That's the signal that they're done. Removed from the fryer, they were sprinkled immediately with coarse sea salt and as quick as you could say Bob Marley, dinner was ready.
End of island adventure. Now we can look forward to weeks of Mac & Cheese - no not really. Stay tuned for further developments.