Friday, June 4, 2010

Tips and Gadgets: Tomato and Mango Celebration, a Coulis for Shrimps



If you, like us, like to experiment, here's an inspiration: The author of Mango and Tomato is celebrating the second anniversary of her blog with a contest, looking for new recipes than include her favorite ingredients.

Of course, those are mangoes and tomatoes.

So this recipe is to take a chance of creating something daring and help her celebrate her adventures in the kitchen.

While our very young explorers didn't yet have yet the chance to try that, my oldest son had a look on the pictures and said: "I want to eat those." We tasted this little amusing hors d'├│euvre  on Tuesday night and found it charming, and she suggested to add more sweetness to it, so instead of honey, I added a bit more sugar.  We bet that the most adventurous kids will give it try, while the cautious ones will be at least curious. In the meantime, something refreshing and colorful from our table to yours:

Wrapped Shrimp with Mango and Tomato Coulis

As always, it's a good idea to consult the Monterey Bay Aquarium guide to buy the best option of shrimps available. Here I am thinking of a portion of four shrimps per guest as an appetizer, with enough sauce to amuse them.

Grilled shrimps:
16 shrimps, de-veined, cleaned, tail on
Olive oil
16 pieces of apple-smoked bacon (or turkey bacon) strips, long enough to cover the shrimp circumference

Coulis:
1 cup peeled, chopped fresh tomato (go for the sweet types), no seeds
1 cup chopped fresh flesh of mango (used a pink Mexican fruit)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cacha├ža (Brazilian sugar cane liquor)  or cognac (optional), a non-alcoholic option would be some drops of fresh lime juice
Little salt to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
Freshly cut chives to garnish

Stir-fry shrimps in a mist of olive oil over medium heat on a shallow skillet. When flesh turns pink, remove shell but leave the tail,  and wrap each shrimp with the bacon strip. The bacon will close itself with the heat, creating a ring around the shrimp. When bacon is crispy and shrimp all cooked, it is all ready to go.

For the coulis, start blending both fruits together and gradually add garlic, salt and sugar. At the end use the liquor or some drops of lime juice until all is smooth and integrated.  On the first test of this recipe, I simmered the sauce to make sure all the flavors were there. But on the second I just used it fresh and loved it. You can also strain everything to make sure you are honoring the name "coulis". Some mango fibers will need that help!

Serve shrimps with the sauce. An option is to serve it as a traditional prawn cocktail.

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