Monday, June 2, 2014

Coconut Shrimp

Coconut Shrimp with JalapeƱo/Mango Dipping Sauce

This recipe was inspired by a bar/restaurant in my town, that served coconut shrimp with a mango dipping sauce that I really enjoyed. Sadly everything about the dish and the bar has changed, and I have no desire to set foot in the place any longer. There is a silver lining however, because they changed everything I was forced (should I want to continue to enjoy coconut shrimp) to come up with another option. Not only have I saved money by making this myself, but I also know EXACTLY what I am eating. The dipping sauce is not mine (that is something I am still working on) but from Rose City Pepperheads They make some wonderful things, and are native to my state, so I don't feel guilty about using their product in the least. Without further ramblings, I give you...happy hour at home.

Cast Iron Pan (or deep fryer if you have one)
2 Mdm. Glass Bowls (for dredge and wash)
Measuring Cup
Measuring Spoons
Spider (slotted spoons works as well)
Wax Paper or Freezer Paper
Baking Sheet

3/4C Panko Bread Crumbs
1/2C Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (can be found in the bulk section of most grocery stores)
2t Lime Zest
1/4-1/2t Salt
1t Pepper
2 Eggs
10-18 Fresh Shrimp, with tails on (frozen can be used as long as you defrost them, also without tails is ok I suppose)
Peanut Oil (Vegetable or Canola is fine as well)

Mix panko, coconut, lime zest, salt and pepper together in one of your bowls. In the second bowl, whisk the eggs together.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
Dip shrimp in egg then in panko mixture. Coat liberally, then place on baking sheet. When all the shrimp have been coated, place the baking sheet in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, but up to 4 hours.
While shrimp are in the refrigerator, get your oil ready. Pour enough oil in your cast iron pan so that you will be able to submerge the shrimp for frying. Heat oil on medium heat, until it reaches 375F. Drop cooled shrimp in oil, and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove with spider and place on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.

Enjoy this hot with your favorite dipping sauce. Mix yourself a drink, or sip a beer and enjoy happy hour at home by yourself or call a friend over.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Thug Kitchen Obsessed

Spicy Cauliflower Tacos with Cilantro Slaw

So, I was raised a vegetarian (I eat everything now, as I'm sure you may have noticed from my array of recipes) when it wasn't "cool" to be vegetarian. My parent's are great cooks, and my papa came up with some phenomenal dishes. There are so many vegetarian cook books out there these days, but frankly they seem to all have very similar recipes that just don't excite me. The people over at Thug Kitchen however ( have gotten me VERY excited about vegetarian cooking again. Last week, while unloading a white box (we literally get a white box of Advanced Reader Copies (also known as ARCs) at the book store once a month) I was excited to see they had included an insert from an up-and-coming cook book. With a title like "Thug like you give a f*ck" I was of coarse drawn to it instantly. Sadly there are only six recipes in it, and the book is not released until October. On the bright side I have made two of the six recipes in a span of a week already, and with each recipe my tastebuds have done a happy little jig. I was so excited by the first recipe I didn't even take a picture, I will however make it again and write a post about it. This taco recipe is amazing and even though my friend added ground beef to his, he still ate the cauliflower as well. Coming from someone who is a born and raised meat eater "it's not bad, just different" is high praise in my book. So with a tip of the hat to the people over at Thug Kitchen, I give you the Spicy Cauliflower Tacos!

Cutting Board
Sharp Knife
Whisk (or large fork)
Large Bowl
Medium Saucepan
Small Roasting Dish (I prefer glass)
Liquid Measuring Cup
Measuring Spoons

*Even though the equipment is not listed in the Thug Kitchen book, I will continue to add it since it makes it easier for people.

This is the recipe exactly as it appears in the Thug Kitchen Cook Book ARC

1 Head Cauliflower (about 1 pound)
3/4C Beer*
1/4C Vegetable Broth
1 1/2T Chipotle Hot Sauce (I used Bufalo)
1T Lime Juice
1 1/2t Tamari (soy sauce)
1 or 2 Garlic cloves, sliced
1 1/2t Chili powered
1t Smoked Paprika
1/4t Cumin
1/4t Garlic Powder
Pinch of Salt
1T Olive Oil
1/2 Yellow onion, chopped
6 Corn Tortillas
1 Rice avocado, peeled and sliced
Quick Lime and Cilantro Slaw (recipe below)
Fire Roasted Salsa**

*Whatever you are cool with drinking the rest of is fine here. Just no coffee stout or anything heavy like that.

**I used what I had already made, but I will post their recipe as well.

1. Chop the cauliflower into small florets no bigger than a large coin. Warm the beer, broth, hot sauce, lime juice, tamari, and garlic over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and simmer for about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain. Toss the chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and olive oil together in a large bowl. Add the cauliflower and onion and stir 'til those fuckers are coated. Bake at 400F until brown, stirring halfway, about 20 minutes.

2. To make the tacos, warm the tortillas in the oven or microwave for a hot minute, then pile them high with the cauliflower filling, slices of avocado, and some of the slaw and top with plenty of salsa.


1/2 Head green cabbage (about 1/2 pound)
1 Small carrot
2T Lime juice
2T Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1t Olive Oil
1/8t Salt
1/3C Chopped Cilantro

Cut the cabbage into the thinnest strips you can and make sure those pieces are no longer than 2 inches. This is a great time to get good with your knife if you are looking for a silver fucking lining in all that chopping (see page 000 for how to wield that blade). Chop the carrot in thin matchsticks of the same length. Got that shit down now, right? In a small glass mix together the lime juice, vinegar, oil, and salt. Add the dressing right before you are going to eat and toss that shit well. Add the cilantro and serve.

Ok, so I know the "000 pages" don't make sense, but as I said the cook book is not yet released, and this recipe is from an ARC.


14.5 ounce can roasted tomatoes*
1/2 White onion, chopped, about 1 cup
1/3C Chopped green onions
1/2C Chopped cilantro
3 Serrano peppers, chopped**
8 Coves roasted garlic***
1/4t Cumin
Juice of half a lime
Salt to taste

1. Throw all that in a food processor or blender and blend until it's how you like it. Chunky, smooth, your salsa = your rules. Taste and add more lime juice if you think it needs it. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Keeps for 4 to 5 days in the fridge but your willpower probably won't allow for any leftovers.

*This is the salsa you make when tomatoes aren't in season so canned are your best bet. Otherwise, make the MidSummer Salsa (page 000) with your ripe tomatoes and save this for the winter months.

**You can remove the seeds if you aren't down with a hot salsa.

*** Yeah, that's basically a whole bulb. Roasted garlic is broken down on page 000 but you can use 2 or 3 cloves of raw garlic if you are having a salsa emergency.