2004-12-16 / Arts & Entertainment

The Creative Cook

This holiday season the maker’s of Smucker’s(r) have teamed up with Jorj Morgan, party planner and author of Fresh Traditions: Classic Dishes for a Contemporary Lifestyle, to offer tips on how to plan a party your family and friends will never forget.

Buffet is on - Make sure electric warming and chafing dishes are on and safely out of kids’ reach. Once the tree is decorated and your guests have worked up an appetite, it’s time to serve the buffet. A suggested recipe selection would be Crunchy Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Orange Marmalade Sauce (recipe below).

Crunchy Coconut Shrimp With Sweet Orange Marmalade Sauce

For the shrimp:

1/2 cup All-Purpose or Unbleached Flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon jerk seasoning

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 3/4 cups unsweetened shredded wheat, crushed Crisco All- Vegetable Shortening*

for frying

1/2 cup shredded coconut

24 large tail shrimp, shell attached (about 1 1/2 pounds)

For the dip:

1 1/2 cups Smucker’s(r)

Sweet Orange Marmalade Sauce

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 teaspoons Crisco(r)

Pure Canola Oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

(or to taste)

Directions for the shrimp: Melt enough shortening to equal 2 inches in a deep frying pan, or use an electric deep fryer half-filled with shortening; heat to 350°(365°for electric fryer). In a shallow bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, jerk seasoning, and paprika. Pour coconut milk into a second bowl. In a third bowl or shallow plate, combine the crushed shredded wheat and flaked coconut. Lay out cooling racks and place waxed paper underneath them to catch drippings. Working in assembly-line fashion, hold each shrimp by the tail, coat with the flour mixture, dip into the coconut milk and coat with the crushed wheat/coconut mixture. Place shrimp on a rack and repeat process until all shrimp are coated. Fry 6 or 8 shrimp at a time, for 1-2 minutes or until golden and crispy. Bring oil back to 350°(365° for electric fryer) before frying next batch. As each batch finishes, drain shrimp on a paper towel before transferring to a serving platter. Serve hot or warm with dip. Makes 24 shrimp.

Note: Shrimp may be prepared in advance and frozen for up to 2 weeks. To serve, defrost slightly and re-crisp at 375°.

Timely Tips

DECORATING CHEAPLY - Use a few favorite kitchen items (your grand-ma’s old coffee pot, for instance) as a vase or holder for gadgets or spoons. Make curtains or kitchen chair cushions from garage sale tablecloths. Trans-form a window sill into an indoor herb garden by planting seedlings in small terra-cotta pots. If you use your imagination, you’ll be amazed and pleased with what you can come up with.

Sami R.

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CLOGGED SINK - Always cover the overflow hole with a rag when plunging a bathroom sink so the plunger has maximum effect. My uncle, who’s a plumber, taught me this little trick, and it works wonders. Gina T.

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SHARP SHOOTER - Sharpen scissors by slicing several pieces of sandpaper or emery paper. This works great, and there’s hardly any expense in-volved. Mike C.

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EARRING MAGIC - Some of the earrings I wear have caused my ear lobes to break out, get itchy, and turn red. I find that by putting clear nail polish on the backs of those earrings, I am able to still wear the earrings I really like. After some use, I find I need to re-apply the polish. It works great. Lynn R.

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CAUGHT SHORT - If you happen to run out of toothpaste, check your cabinets for baking soda. It cleans and polishes just like toothpaste. Just sprin-kle some on your toothbrush, wet the brush, and use as you normally would. Linda F

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Share your special Timely Tip with our readers. Send it to Kate c/o DBR Media, Inc., P.O. Box 21, Hopewell Jct., NY 12533, or e-mail:deckert@dbrmedia. com

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