Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Skinny Coconut Shrimp

Have you ever had coconut shrimp before? Well, if not, you are so missing out. There is just something about that little shrimp that is covered in coconut and then dunked in a spicy apricot sauce. The bad part is though, that they are usually fried. Deep fried. Not that frying is bad and I do indulge in the fried food every once in awhile, but with these, before you know it you've eaten 1,000 calories in just a few fried shrimp. And who can just have one? I know I can't.

These shrimpys (yes, I said shrimpys) are loaded with that crunchy coconut flavor, but cut waaaaaaaay back on the fat and calories. Just because they are low in calories and fat, don't let that fool you. These are totally delicious and will be eaten up in a flash. Trust me on this one. The first time I made these was during football season when the Niners were in the playoffs and my dad had a bunch of his buddies over to watch the game. I am still upset they didn't go to the Superbowl this year, but let's not go there. I may start crying. Just kidding. Well, not really. For some crazy reason I decided to forgo wine tasting with my mom and sister to stay home and watch football with the boys. What can I say, I love sports. Anyways, back to shrimp. Since inviting my dad's friends over was kind of a last minute thing, I had to think quick and plan a menu that would be tasty, but not overly bad for us all. Then I remembered I had this recipe tucked away for a special day - and that day was the day.

Let me just say, I could not serve these shrimps fast enough! They were going like hot cakes. Or should I say hot shrimp. Wait, no. That sounds funny. They are super easy to toss together and pop in the oven. While the shrimp are baking you can whip up the dipping sauce and when the shrimp are cooked, you are ready to go! I will say that the best thing to do is coat and then bake right away. I did two trays of shrimp so I wouldn't have to make a second mess with coating and dropping coconut all over. The first tray was amazing - golden, crunchy and just right. The second tray was almost as good, but since the shrimp were coated and waiting in the fridge, the coating got a bit soggy. Not bad, just made it come off a bit when flipping half way through cooking. Even though football season as come and gone, I these would be a great treat to make for a yummy snack to have while watching baseball on a nice weekend afternoon.  I can not wait for baseball season to start in a week.  Let's go Giants! I bet Buster Posey would like these shrimp.

sauce ingredients - apricot preserves, rice wine vinegar and red pepper flakes. I got too excited for these shrimp and totally forgot to take a picture of everything else. Oops.

breading station - coconut, eggs, flour, shrimp

coated shrimp

baked! how good do those look?!

This plate was full 10 seconds before I took this. The boys woofed these too fast.

Skinny Coconut Shrimp (www.skinnytaste.com)

1 lb (24) large shrimp, peeled and deviened (the best deal for these is at Costco. They are in the frozen section. Just defrost and then use!)
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp panko crumbs
2 tbsp all purpose flour (you will only use 1 tbsp)
1 large egg
pinch salt
non-stick spray

For the Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce:

1/2 cup apricot preserves

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine coconut flakes, panko crumbs and salt in a bowl. Place the flour on a small dish. Whisk egg in another bowl. Lightly season shrimp with salt. Dip the shrimp in the flour, shaking off excess, then into the egg, then in the coconut crumb mixture.

Lay shrimp on the cookie sheet then spray the top of the shrimp with more cooking spray; bake in the middle rack for about 10 minutes. Turn shrimp over then cook another 6-7 minutes or until cooked though. Remove from oven and serve with dipping sauce.

For the sauce, combine all the ingredients and place in a small bowl and dip the shrimp!

I bet you are all wondering about the calories now that I told you how good they are. You get three large shrimp and one tablespoon of sauce for about 160 calories and only 3.5 grams of fat! Just make sure to enjoy these hot out of the oven. They are best when fresh!

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