coconut

All posts tagged coconut

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Coconut and Ginger

Published October 23, 2013 by jenmatteson

Whipped sweet potatoes, take two.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Coconut and Ginger

This recipe is just a small tweak from yesterday’s basic whipped sweet potato.  The coconut cream keeps these potatoes rich and creamy, while the ginger adds a fresh pop!  I’m definitely a traditionalist when it comes to my Thanksgiving table, but sometimes I like to explore a little outside the box.  This would certainly be a fun way to surprise your family this season, but if they’re like mine and are suspicious of anything new or different, just make them any ol’ day of the week this fall.  These are so quick to whip up, and a great source of antioxidants and beta-carotene, why wouldn’t you?  Oh, and if you’re wondering what to do with all that leftover coconut cream, use this helpful tip!

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Coconut and Ginger

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Coconut and Ginger

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 10 to 12

Ingredients:

6 lbs sweet potatoes (about 6 large)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened or melted
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut cream
1 1/2 tbsp freshly grated peeled ginger
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
unsweetened finely shredded coconut, for garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pierce the sweet potatoes several times with a fork.  Place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, until tender.  Let cool slightly.

2. Peel and roughly chop sweet potato, then transfer to food processor.  Add butter, coconut cream and ginger.  Puree until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve and garnish with shredded coconut.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Ganache and Coconut (or not)

Published May 23, 2013 by jenmatteson

Last Friday, my family celebrated Mother’s Day (late) and my dad’s birthday.  They are always so close, and it’s hard to get my family together with work and the little ones, that it’s easiest for us to celebrate these two events together.  We certainly cannot celebrate birthdays without a cake, and Mother’s Day without dessert?  Well that just doesn’t seem right!  Lucky for me, I had just seen this recipe in the latest Food and Wine, which I was dying to make.  Perfect!  Well, sort of.  My mom doesn’t like coconut (unless it’s in the rum in her Panty Ripper).  So I garnished half the cupcakes with the toasted coconut and the other half with shaved bittersweet chocolate.  Both were a hit!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Ganache

My honey is so precious when it comes to his food.  I think I’ve mentioned before he can be quite protective of his leftovers.  When we were heading to my parents house this weekend to pick up some plants, I grabbed some of the leftover cupcakes to give to them.  We still had 8 leftover from Friday, and while we certainly could eat that many cupcakes, we really don’t need to.  While I was putting the container in the backseat of the car, Nate asks adorably, “What are you doing with those?”  I tell him, ” I’m bringing them for my parents,” and he said like a stubborn child, “Well, how many?”  At this point, he was just too cute to take seriously.  I told him we didn’t need a dozen cupcakes (exaggerating slightly).  When he later went to get a cupcake, he asked where the rest were because I had told him we had a dozen.  So precious.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Ganache

He was certainly in his right mind questioning giving away these suckers.  They were so delicious.  The cake was moist and fluffy, and the ganache (basically a chocolate frosting – but look it up for a more distinct description) was so creamy and rich, with just a hint of the caramel.  I loved the coconut topping, but if you aren’t fan, skip it, or add shaved chocolate like I did.  I’m assuming my mom really enjoyed them, seeing as how when I brought them over, she got herself a plate and ate one right then and there.  Love love love sharing my food, especially when people really like it!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Ganache

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Ganache

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Ganache and Coconut

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: Makes 18 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the frosting:
12 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup heavy cream

For the cupcakes:
1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz unsweetened large-flaked coconut (spend the money to get the large flake stuff, not that other shredded crap)

Directions:

1. Make the Frosting.  In a large mixing bowl, combine both chocolates.  In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water and cook over moderate heat until sugar is dissolved.  Boil without stirring, scraping down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush occasionally, until a deep-amber color forms, about 8 to 10 minutes (mine only took 6 minutes before it started to get too dark, so keep a very close eye on it).  Reduce heat to low and carefully add the cream; it will bubble vigorously.  Whisk until smooth, then pour caramel over chocolate.  Let stand for 2 minutes, then whisk until frosting is smooth.  Refrigerate until cool but spreadable, about 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, make the cupcakes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Combine buttermilk and water in a measuring cup.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter with both sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  With the mixer on low-speed, beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, altering with the buttermilk.

 

Toasted Flaked Coconut

3. Spoon batter into paper liners, filling them 3/4 full.  Bake for about 20 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, spread coconut out on rimmed baking sheet and toast for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly golden.  Let cool.

5. Frost the cupcakes and top with toasted coconut.  Or don’t.  I don’t care.

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe Swap: Coconut Lime Chicken with Chilies

Published March 29, 2013 by jenmatteson

I have been majorly lacking in participating in recipe swaps.  I couldn’t even tell you the last time I did one.  But, it’s finally time to get back in the game!  This month’s swap is once again, bloggers choice, hosted by Sarah at Taste of Home Cooking  I was assigned Kylee Cooks.  I was happy that she had a lot of chicken recipes as we eat a lot of that, although it seems like it’s been forever since I’ve blogged a chicken recipe, or even a dinner recipe for that matter.  I carefully sifted through each recipe that stood out to me including grilled chicken satay skewers with peanut dipping sauce, chicken diablo, beer and onion braised chicken, and what I thought I’d ultimately settle on, Thai chicken meatballs.  Unfortunately, she didn’t care for the sauce that the original recipe called for, therefore didn’t blog it.  The actual meatball recipe was a pretty basic meatball recipe, so without the sauce, I decided to pass.

Coconut Lime Chicken

I ended up settling on coconut lime chicken with chilies.  I liked everything about the recipe: chicken, coconut, lime, chilies.  The only substitution I made was using a fresh Serrano chili as opposed to canned.  I don’t care for canned chilies all that much because they lose a lot of their heat.  If you don’t like the heat, use canned, or even a fresh jalapeno would be less spicy than the Serrano chilies.

The pictures don’t do it much justice, as it just looks like chicken with cilantro served over rice, but let me tell you, it’s so much more than that.  The coconut is not too sweet, but just sweet enough to compliment the Serrano chili.  I was surprised that it wasn’t spicier, though it did have some nice underlying heat.  I’ve never used coconut milk before, but it sure packs a lot of flavor!  Nate and I both really enjoyed this simple and quick dinner!

Coconut Lime Chicken

Coconut Lime Chicken with Chilies

Source: Adapted from Kylee Cooks
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-1 tsp curry powder
8 oz can light coconut milk
1 Serrano chili, seeded and diced (sub 4 oz can of chilies or 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced for less heat)
zest and juice of 1/2 lime
salt and pepper
2 tbsp green onions, chopped finely
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup basmati rice, cooked to package directions

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil (one turn of the pan) in large skillet over medium heat.  Add chicken and garlic and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.

2. Add curry powder and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Add coconut milk, chilies, lime juice and zest and reduce heat.  Simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.

3. Remove from heat and stir in green onions.  Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro.

Take a look at the other participants in the bloggers choice swap:

Coconut Shrimp with Two Dipping Sauces

Published January 27, 2013 by jenmatteson

Work has been insane crazy lately, which means less time for me to be in the kitchen.  Well, it’s not like I stopped cooking or anything, but we’ve just been running through old standbys, nothing new.  But, I’m back!  I have finally had a chance to get my head straight since the beginning of the year and I’m getting a move on my 30 Before 30 list.

Coconut Shrimp

Nate is out-of-town for the weekend, so Kimmy came over to keep me company (her Nate is with my Nate ice fishing).  I invited two of my other best girls to come over too, and made a ladies night of it.  I think this might be the first time we’ve gotten together to just hang, rather than do a tasting of some sort.  Not that the tastings aren’t fun, and don’t end up in debauchery anyway.  Back to the topic…so I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to make coconut shrimp – on my list!

Chili-Lime Dipping Sauce

I had to test a few before the ladies arrived because 1) I had to make sure they were delicious, and 2) it would have been too dark to get an acceptable picture – and if you remember, I want to get a bit better this year at taking pictures (without having to invest a bunch of money or space).

Apricot Rum Dipping Sauce

I went with a simple recipe I saw on Food Network along with the dipping sauce, but I came across another sauce that I also wanted to try.  Both turned out really tasty, and also a good dip for egg rolls, too!  I prefered the chili-lime dipping sauce, but the apricot rum was good, too.  The recipe actually called for orange marmalade, but I thought I’d try it out with apricot since I had that in my fridge already.  It turned out really well.  I didn’t read the directions fully, and originally just added the rum to the preserves without simmering.  Whoa!  It was strong.  After I revisited the recipe, I found my mistake and simmered the sauce for a few minutes. The shrimp was great!  Honestly, I would have liked a bit more coconut, but I liked the subtle sweetness.  The panko was a good choice to make them extra crispy.  The ladies all loved the shrimp and said they wouldn’t have changed a thing.  It was a huge success!!

Coconut Shrimp

Coconut Shrimp with Two Dipping Sauces

Source: Adapted from Food Network
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
2 cups bread crumbs (I used a combo of panko and regular)
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, beaten
24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
vegetable oil, for frying

Directions:

1. In a large shallow dish, combine coconut and bread crumbs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place flour in shallow dish, and beat eggs in another separate shallow dish.  Set up a dredging station, starting with shrimp, flour, eggs, coconut/bread crumbs, and then an empty platter to place shrimp before frying.

2. Working one at a time, dredge shrimp into the flour, shaking off excess.  Then dip into egg mixture, scraping on side to remove any excess.  Finally, dredge in coconut mixture, ensuring the entire shrimp is covered.  Shake off any excess.  Repeat with remaining shrimp.

3. In a large deep pan or Dutch oven, pour a few inches of oil.  Heat to 350 degrees.  Fry shrimp in batches until golden brown and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove and place on paper towel.  Serve with desired dipping sauce (Cilantro-Lime Chili and Apricot Rum dipping sauce recipe below).

Chili-Lime Sauce

Source: Adapted from Oishii
Servings: Makes 3/4 cup

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Asian sweet chili sauce
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 1/2 tbsp lime juice

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Apricot Rum Dipping Sauce

Source: Adapted from Food Network
Servings: 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

1/2 cup apricot preserves
1-2 tbsp dark rum

Directions:

1. In a small saucepan, combine both ingredients and cook over low heat.  Simmer for 3-5 minutes.  Serve.

No-Bake Energy Bites

Published September 1, 2012 by jenmatteson

I love a good granola bar, and not the kind packed full of preservatives and other ingredients I can’t even pronounce.  I mean the really good for you granola bars, with real, whole ingredients.  I was thrilled to come across these no-bake bites from the Dainty Chef and try them out.

The best part is that you can substitute ingredients if you prefer something else, but I liked the sound of the original combination.  The only change I made was using dark chocolate chips.  These were a little difficult to roll up, feeling like I got more on my hands than I did in the bites themselves.  Maybe next time I’ll spray my hands with cooking spray (or I suppose I could invest $5 into a cookie scoop!), because there will be a next time.  Or even try putting them in a pan and cutting them into bars.

These would be a great little snack for camping or hiking, good for the kids, and perfect for back to school.  Speaking of kids, Nate likes to put a couple of these in his lunch and really enjoys them.  They really fill you up.  I love the coconut, though I know most people either love it or hate it, and the peanut butter with the dark chocolate combination is heavenly.

No-Bake Energy Bites

Source: Adapted from Dainty Chef
Servings: 15-20 Bites

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/3 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
1/2 dark chocolate chips (sub your favorite)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, combine oats, coconut flakes, flaxseed/wheat germ, and chocolate chips.  Stir in peanut butter, honey, and vanilla until well combined.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.

2. Using a cookies scoop or your hands, roll the mixture into 1-2″ balls.  Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Panty Ripper

Published August 9, 2012 by jenmatteson

Our last drink tasting party was Olympic themed.  You might be wondering how a drink called Panty Ripper has anything to do with the Olympics.  Well, did you know that at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, 100,000 condoms were distributed to the athletes in Olympic Village, which breaks down to 14 per athlete?  Did you know they ran out (Waoh Naija)?  The 2012 Summer Olympics are slightly higher.  There were over 150,000 condoms distributed to Olympic Village, averaging about 15 per athlete (Housing Works).  That means that athletes were getting it on about 30 times in a two-week time period (of course, that’s assuming they are only hooking up with each other – and let’s be honest, if you had a body like Ryan Lochte, wouldn’t you only hook up with someone as equally hot as you?).

Well, that is not at all why we made the Panty Ripper for the Olympic themed drink tasting, you sicko.  The rules were to bring a drink that was at least one color of the Olympic Rings.  Did I tell you this was a last-minute tasting? Anyway, the Panty Ripper is yellow, one of the allowed colors.  The first time I had one was in Belize, the country’s unofficial national drink.  In Belize, you’ll find it on menus and hear it pronounced as “panty rippa”.  It’s a simple concoction of coconut rum and pineapple juice with a maraschino cherry.  Sounds so easy, and it is, and it’s also very refreshing.  My mother, who is not generally a drinker, would put down 4-5 of these before and during dinner.  She absolutely loved them!  And they were making them “light” by any means 😉  Everyone else on the trip seemed to like them too; I think we each had a few per day while we were there.

We brought home the gold with this drink, although I must admit that we tied with Leah and Dan.  They made Olympic Dreams, Russian Style.  This drink was a mix of fruit punch flavored vodka (I didn’t even know they made that), 7Up, grenadine, and a splash of lime juice, garnished with a cherry.  It was tastey, but slightly on the sweet side for me.  It tasted like a strawberry soda!  Dave and Shane didn’t bring their “A” game and came with watermelon pucker.  But, lucky for them, they took home the bronze.  We had a ceremony and everything – Leah and I represented the top stair of the “podium” for our gold medals (although no actual medals were distributed).

Panty Ripper

Ingredients:

coconut rum (I like Parrot Bay)
pineapple juice
maraschino cherry

Directions:

1. In a tall glass filled with ice, add 1 part rum and 2 parts pineapple juice.  Garnish with a cherry, mix as desired, and serve.

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