Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Maxine Visits! The Hawthornes Celebrate! Food!

The Hawthornes love it when Maxine comes to visit.
Another excuse to celebrate
and we love to celebrate with food.
As Mr. Hawthorne says,
"Every meal is a celebration of life."

  While Maxine and Rosie were sipping on champagne,
Middle Hawthorne was out fishing for dinner.
He came home with some nice speckled trout.

 Mr. Hawthorne filets.

 Trim the filets a bit.

 I'm doing Coconut Beer-Batter Fried Shrimp
because I love it and I never get tired of it.
The shrimp was peeled, de-tracted and de-nerved,
and butterflied.
Leave the tails on
so it's easier to pick up the shrimp.
Most people say to de-vein the shrimp.
That's actually a misnomer.
That black thing running down the back of the shrimp
is not a vein.
It's the digestive tract.
And that faint grey line running 
down the belly is a nerve - not a vein.

In the middle is my beer batter -
just flour, beer, some freshly ground pepper, 
and a sprinkling of cayenne, if you like.

On the right is a mixture of equal amounts sweetened coconut
and panko bread crumbs.
I used the chipotle seasoned panko
for a little extra heat.
 Mr. Hawthorne will be using the beer batter
for his speckled trout filets.

 If you're nervous or intimidated about frying,
get a thermometer.
Proper frying temperature is essential.
Too low and your food ends up greasy and soggy.
Too high and you burn it.
350°-375° is the range you want.

I do know of another little trick for 
determining the proper oil temperature.
I use the handle of a wooden spoon.
Dip it in the hot oil and wait.
You want a steady stream of bubbles
to bubble out the end of the spoon.
Not profuse bubbling (too hot)
and not lame bubbling (not hot enough),
but a happy stream of bubbly bubbles.

 Never crowd the pan.
This lowers the temperature of the oil.
Always fry in small batches.

 One minute and the shrimp is done.
Drain on paper towels.
 A little melted butter and a squeeze of lemon for the trout.
 Doesn't get much better.

 I found these forks in a compromising position in my drawer.
I couldn't do that if I tried.

Just-caught trout.
Coconut shrimp.
And a sauce -
orange marmalade,
some apricot preserves,
minced cayenne pepper from the garden,
lime zest,
lime juice,
a bit of sweet chili garlic sauce,
fresh cilantro.
Mix all to taste.

Bon appetit!


Marilyn said...

That looks so delicious!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

There were no leftovers.