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Beer-Battered Coconut Shrimp with Orange-Ginger Marmalade

Mary Anne here. While we normally don’t pay much attention to the “suggested” recipes sent our way – we have to eat what we make, after all – Sam’s Club recently passed along a shrimpy serving suggestion that struck my fancy. Unlike the pay-for-play Panera and Nutella craze that you’ve seen splashed about the internet, we did not accept any compensation for kitchen-testing this dish; I made it because it looked delicious (PS, this isn’t a condemnation of sponsorship, we’re Americans, we love cash) . On my first attempt however, I tried to make it gluten-free. I have a neighbor who just brought home twin boys, and I wanted to tide them over with a meal or two. The new dad has Celiac, so gluten is not in his diet…unless he wants to make like a colicky newborn. No problem, I thought! I’ll just swap out the wheat flour for rice flour. Right.

As I was patting myself on the back for being so savvy, I poured the beer into the batter…not exactly an Oprah-worthy “a-ha moment” as it dawned on me that beer is WHEAT-based. Oh well. My heart was in the right place and my youngest son was thrilled to have all the leftovers.

Needless to say, I’m writing this recipe with the original wheat flour and pasta. If you can figure out how to make a beer batter without the suds, please let me know! I’d love to prepare this again and actually share it with my neighbors. And BTW, the rice flour actually produces a lighter result, so you might want to use it if you happen to have some in your pantry.

Beer-Battered Coconut Shrimp with Orange-Ginger Marmalade Serves 8 as an Entree or Makes Approximately 60 Hors d’oeuvres Adapted from Sam’s Club

Note: This can be prepared up to the day before except for the actual frying. And the sauce actually gets even tastier after a day or two in the fridge! To “fracture” pasta, break up the strands into short pieces and enclose in a plastic zippered bag. Using a rolling pin, crush the broken pasta into tiny bits about the size of a grain of rice. Ingredients: For the Marmalade Dip: 1 cup rough cut orange marmalade $3.49 5 Teaspoons minced, fresh ginger – $0.59 1 Tablespoon minced garlic – stock 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice – stock ¼ Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper – stock ½ – ¾ Teaspoon red pepper flakes For the Batter: 1- 12 oz. bottle warm/room-temp beer – $1.19 1½ cups flour – stock 3 Tablespoons melted butter – stock 4 eggs, separated – stock ¼ Teaspoon ground black pepper – stock ½ Teaspoon salt – stock ¼ Teaspoon paprika – stock For the Shrimp: 2 lbs. Sam’s Club’s colossal shrimp, defrosted – $13.98 ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese – stock ¾ cup chopped, blanched almonds – $3.38 ¾ cup chopped unsweetened, coconut – $1.24 ¾ cup dry angel hair pasta, “fractured” (about ¼ lb.) – $0.99 3 cups canola oil – stock Grand Total Assuming a “Well-Stocked” Pantry: $24.86 Total Per 8 Entree Servings: $3.11 Directions: 1. Prepare the Marmalade Dip: In a medium bowl, combine the marmalade, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, red and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least several hours to allow flavors to blend. 2. Meanwhile, prepare the beer batter. In a large bowl, whisk the beer, flour, melted butter, egg yolks, salt, pepper and paprika into a smooth batter. Reserve the egg whites. (You’ll be whipping these later.) Allow the batter to rest for one hour at room temperature. 3. In a large bowl, toss to mix the Parmesan cheese, chopped almonds, unsweetened coconut, and “fractured” pasta. 4. In a medium-size bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff and dry. Fold the stiff egg whites into the beer batter, until evenly incorporated. 5. Holding the shrimp by the tail dip into the beer batter, coating thoroughly. 6. Transfer the battered shrimp to the plate of coconut mix and gently press the shrimp into the mixture, covering both sides. Transfer coconut-battered shrimp to a large cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap or foil. Cover and refrigerate. 7. Preheat oven to 250 degrees (this will keep shrimp warm after frying). How to cook the shrimp: Using a wok or 2-3 quart saucepan, heat the Canola oil until it registers 375° on a candy thermometer. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, drop in a spoonful of the batter mix to test the oil temperature. The batter should drop and then quickly bob back to the surface, turning golden in about 1 or 2 minutes. 8. Using a slotted spoon, slide the shrimp into the hot oil. Be careful not to overload your pan with too many shrimp at one time. You need to have enough room to roll the shrimp around in the hot oil with the slotted spoon, without disturbing their battered “coats”. (In my 2.5-quart pot, I cooked 4 at a time.) Fry until golden all over, about 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a cookie rack lined with paper towels. As you cook each batch, transfer to a warmed oven after draining on paper towels. Serve warm with the Marmalade dipping sauce.