Sunday, July 24, 2011

Spicy Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Thai Coconut Lime Rice

One of my favorite foods lately is coconut milk. It's so versatile; you can use it in baking and cooking. I'm a big fan of Thai cuisine, and I've been making this Thai coconut rice for a few years that I absolutely love.  I add Thai basil, lime zest and chicken broth to bring out the flavors of the coconut milk. To accompany the rice, I also had some jumbo shrimp on hand, and made a simple marinade with some garlic and lime, and wrapped them with bacon. If you're a vegetarian/vegan, you can skip the bacon, and the marinade will provide more than enough flavor. For the rice, you can also omit the chicken broth if you prefer, and use water or vegetable broth.

Here is a simple and healthy meal perfect for a warm summer night.

Thai Coconut Lime Rice
2 cups white jasmine or Basmati rice
2 cups coconut milk
1 3/4 chicken stock (or water/vegetable broth if you are vegetarian/vegan)
Grated rind of one lime
Finely diced fresh Thai basil
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, and cook uncovered on medium-high until it starts to boil; cover and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes. Test the rice; you may need to cook another 5 minutes or so. Then turn off and let sit for 10 minutes. Make sure to leave the lid on to keep the rice warm while you make the shrimp.

Meanwhile, prepare marinade and shrimp

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Garlic-Lime Marinade

10-15 raw-jumbo shrimp (works best if you leave tails on) Tip: Make sure they are RAW shrimp.  Cooked shrimp being cooked again become rubbery and just don't taste right.

Garlic Lime Marinade 
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients below and marinate shrimp for 10 minutes in the following:

Juice of 1 lime, add a bit of zest if you like
Finely minced garlic or garlic powder
1 Tablespoon olive or coconut oil.  (I like coconut oil personally since the coconut and lime go together very well)
Sea salt
Cayenne pepper or finely diced Thai chile if you like heat

I prefer thick cut applewood smoked, or uncured bacon. The length of the cuts of bacon will depend on how big your shrimp are. There is no need to use a toothpick to secure your bacon; just make sure the bacon end is on the under side of the shrimp when you lay it on the baking sheet. Cook shrimp on the grill for 3-4 minutes - it is done when the bacon is fully cooked. You can also do this in a broiler but it will take a few more minutes.

Fluff rice with a fork and serve.  I like to lay the shrimp atop the rice and serve with a simple salad of tomatoes and red onion.

Serves 2, with left over rice for the next day!

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