While I was on twitter, lazily scrolling through my timeline, an article caught my eye about a recipe challenge that Kin’s Farm Market was having. Now, being a fairly competitive person, I was definitely tempted to try and submit one of my recipes. Problem is, it had to be an original one. Normally, I spend time clicking through the internet, and making recipes that others have posted, or going through my cookbooks, looking for something new to make. So in order to make an epic original recipe, I’d have to do some thinking. I made a list of all my favourite foods hoping for inspiration. It was a bit of a disaster. I mean, the first item on the list of Claire’s favourite foods was onion rings. Here’s the list I made:
- Onion rings
- Red wine
- Cherry tomatoes
- Goat cheese
As you can see, it was a weird mix of French and Asian flavours. Not surprising, given that ethnically, I’m Chinese, with part-Mauritian nationality (Mauritius used to be colonized by the French. Its cuisine and media are heavily influenced by the French). Clearly, I should pay a visit to Vietnam, where I hear there is a mix of French and Asian cultures there too. I mean, how delicious are Vietnamese subs?! Asian-marinated meat in a crunchy French baguette! I also noticed that none of my favourite foods are sweet. Makes sense, because given the choice, I will ALWAYS choose to have an appetizer instead of a dessert, buy popcorn instead of candy at the movies, and the other day when I visited the famous Bella Gelataria downtown, I ordered their salted chocolate flavour. For those who don’t know, Bella Gelataria in Vancouver recently won the world’s best gelato 2012 at a competition in Italy.
Anyway, I thought long and hard… And came up with this recipe!!!! Spicy shrimp skewers… and pineapple skewers… with coconut rice, topped with mango salsa, in a pineapple BOAT! Now, how did I come up with it, you may ask. Well, first of all, I decided to make something exotic instead of French. That eliminated a lot ingredients from my “favourite foods” list. A few weekends ago, I came up with the spicy shrimp skewers for my Thai night, and was very pleased with them. I was inspired by my trip to Hawaii where I had those amazing spicy shrimp, and replicated it at home too. These shrimp skewers are almost the same, but… skewered. And grilled. Also, coconut rice has always been one of my favourite foods. And, I remember a trip I took to Thailand a long time ago, where we asked this local guy where to go for local food. He pointed us in the direction of a hole-in-the-wall restaurant (those are always the best!) where 15 year old me ordered pineapple fried rice. And they served it in a hollowed out pineapple boat that I was impressed with. As for mango salsa, mango is my absolute favourite fruit, and I pretty much put mango salsa on everything. Now, all these ingredients don’t make for an easy name for my recipe. So I’ve done the best I could, and just called it “Spicy shrimp skewers with coconut rice in a pineapple boat”, even though it should really just be called “Tropical explosion” or something like that.
I should mention my trepidation at the thought of halving and hollowing out a pineapple. I was sure that it was going to roll and I’d end up cutting myself pretty badly. I have a bad history of cooking accidents with knives. There was the time I tried removing the pit of an avocado my holding the avocado half in my left hand, and stabbing the pit with a large knife held in my right hand. Obviously the pit was slippery, the knife shifted, and sliced open my finger. Then there was the time I tried halving a coconut in order to make a coconut bra as decoration for a party. I hacked at the coconut with a chef’s knife, and got it stuck. I pulled at the knife to free it, only to have the blade separate from the handle, and fly at my head, impaling itself in the wall beside my right ear. I was still holding the handle of the knife in shock, wondering where the blade was, when i turned around and found that I’d almost opened my head instead of the coconut. Soooo yes. I was scared to cut open the pineapple. It’s good to know that time has made me fearful (and more careful?). Fortunately, the pineapple was easy to slice into and no blood was spilled. Yay!
- 1 mango
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 red pepper
- Half a red onion
- Green onions
- 1 avocado
- Lime juice
- Olive oil
- 12 de-veined and peeled prawns with tails still on
- 1 Tablespoon chili sauce
- 5 cloves of chopped garlic
- Olive oil
- Bamboo skewers
- 1 unit rice
- 1 unit water
- 1 unit coconut milk
- Half teaspoon essence of coconut
- 1 pineapple
- Bamboo skewers
First make the mango salsa. Chop the mango, jalapeno, red pepper, red onion, and avocado into a bowl. Add the chopped cilantro and green onions. Drizzle with lime juice and olive oil. Season with salt. Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the meal.
Make the coconut rice by adding the water, coconut milk, coconut essence, and rice to a rice cooker.
Take the ripe pineapple and slice in half. Using a small knife, hollow out the insides in order to make a “bowl” out of the two halves. Chop the insides of the pineapple into bite-size pieces and skewer them.
For the spicy shrimp, mix all of the ingredients with the shrimp and skewer.
Barbeque the pineapple and shrimp skewers on medium high until done.
Remove grilled pineapple pieces from skewers and mix with cooked coconut rice.
Serve the pineapple-coconut rice in the hollowed pineapple bowls with the spicy shrimp skewers and mango salsa.