Monday, January 26, 2015
This might have been our first unsuccessful meal of the year... Not necessarily because it wasn't cooked correctly or because the flavors were off. I just think that this recipe was a little too sweet for us. It's been years since we were regulars at any chain restaurant or fast food place. We just prefer to eat real food with much less sugar and salt than seems to be typical at these kinds of places. So when I found this recipe, I should have known better right away. It was written as a replica of The Outback Steakhouse's coconut shrimp appetizer. The amount of white sugar it called for in the batter should have been the next red flag. I'm sure I could have found a different option if I wanted to try to cook coconut shrimp, but I didn't... This was strike one.
Strike two was leaving them in the fryer too long. It dried out the shrimp more than I wanted. It made the batter and coconut flakes a great crunchy texture on the outside, but the meat inside was not quite the perfect texture.
And last but not least, I tried to couple the shrimp with a simple parmesean risotto. And when I say simple, I mean I took a short cut by buying risotto in a box. Strike three really took me out. I'll admit that I'm a little afraid of doing risotto the proper way, but I shouldn't have been this lazy about it.
So anyway, the hubs made it about three quarters of the way through the meal before it became too much. I'd ran around like a crazy lady all day doing chores, errands and furniture refinishing, so I didn't let the taste stand in the way of my hunger. But I did end up having to cut the sweetness with some relish tartar sauce, which I'm guessing would be blasphemy on a good coconut shrimp.
I'm sure there will be many more unsuccessful meals to come, and I knew this would be the case when I started this adventure. But I was hoping that the bad results would be due to difficult techniques or foreign ingredients. I definitely learned to stick with some more healthy options and to do some better research next time. This week, I need to find something that will not only be new to cook, but will also fit into a Superbowl meal... I'm open to suggestions!