I didn’t end up making corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. I had put the chicken and shrimp for this recipe in the fridge to be defrosted by Wednesday, but then Wednesday night rolled along and both Joe and I were too busy to make the recipe. So it got pushed a day and unfortunately that was St. Patrick’s Day. I’ll just reassign the holiday to Friday or Saturday. I don’t think St. Patrick will care. I don’t even know who he is.
It occurred to me that I’ve never posted a recipe with plantains in it. I LOVE plantains. So much so that I had to temporarily ban them from my life because I was eating too many… But I can occasionally buy them now as a treat and be okay. I like them in any of their stages – green, yellow, black – and in any form. I particularly like them fried, big surprise.
The weather has been so nice out lately, I was hoping to be able to enjoy grilling the chicken and shrimp. But it got cold and windy last night and we only grilled the chicken and said ehh nevermind when it came to the shrimp. And then it ended up snowing a couple inches overnight. Gross. I’m having major spring fever and I don’t want to see any snow any more until November. I don’t even want to snowboard anymore. One of the resorts here routinely stays open until June. I won’t be going there. I just want to go hiking and to garden. I’m going to try to get landlord permission to build a raised bed garden in our backyard to grow veggies in. That’ll be so fun! Hopefully I won’t kill everything. Plants practically need twice-daily watering in Denver. I guess tolerable summer heat conditions don’t come without their drawbacks.
This dinner is so wonderfully summery, I can’t wait to make it again and eat it while sitting on the front porch. The shrimp are extra delicious, but that might also have been due to the fact that we overcooked the chicken. It was really windy out and neither of us wanted to hang around the grill watching the chicken cook! Oh well. The plantains offer a nice textural change and are soft and crispy at the same time. The dinner could use some green on the plate – I was going to cook broccoli, but was feeling lazy and didn’t. So I’d recommend making some collard greens or steaming some broccoli to go along with this. We made lots of this, so we could have leftovers. This recipe is really easy to scale. The batter is just a basic ratio, so make as much or little as you’d like. If you don’t want to grill, you can pan cook both meats in a heavy sauté pan with coconut oil.
2 mangos, peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped
1/2 red onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup cilantro, thin stems okay, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño, coarsely chopped
salt to taste
juice of one lime
Add mangos, onion, cilantro, garlic, and jalapeño to a food processor. Pulse or process to your desired consistency. Alternatively, you can hand chop everything if you’d like a little more control over the size of each ingredient. Add lime juice and salt to taste, stir to mix.
coconut crusted shrimp and chicken
I used Bob’s Red Mill brand coconut flour, which you should be able to find at Whole Foods. Even many regular grocery stores are starting to carry a decent selection of alternative flours. But, if you can’t find coconut flour, you can just substitute more shredded coconut.
2 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (or use the full breast if pan cooking)
zest of one lime
salt and pepper
1 pound 41-50 count shrimp, deveined, shelled
2 eggs, whisked
1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
(If you need more, just keep a similar ratio)
1. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and lime zest. Dip the chicken and shrimp in egg and then coat with the coconut mixture. If you’re grilling, skewer the chicken and shrimp separately, as they take different amounts of time to cook.
2. If grilling, preheat the grill on high heat and cook the chicken skewers about 5 minutes per side. If using the pan, heat coconut oil on medium high and pan fry for about 7 minutes per side, depending on thickness of the breast.
3. The shrimp needs to be cooked only about a minute and a half on each side either on the grill or if you’re pan frying. Adjust cooking time if you got bigger shrimp. Just be careful not to overcook.
4. Tent both the chicken and shrimp with some tin foil while you cook the plantains.
fried blackened plantains
3 black-skinned plantains, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
Heat 1/8 – 1/4 inch of oil on medium high heat in a heavy sauté pan. Add plantain pieces and cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until nice and browned on each side. Place on a paper towel to drain.
Serve the shrimp and chicken with a side of plantains and a big scoop of the mango salsa. Have some avocado on the side too, and top everything off with cilantro leaves. Enjoy!