Project Food Blog: The Classics
You wake up to the sound of water gently hitting the side of your bungalow. The sun is rising over the water, and as you step out onto your personal balcony the air hitting your face is fresh, pure, and awakening. You look down over the railing and see a few fish eating their breakfast, each fish a different color of the rainbow. In a few minutes your spouse will wake up and join you for a hot vanilla tea, and soon after you will officially begin your day.
You are in Tahiti. Ia orana!
Since our amazing honeymoon in Bora Bora and Tahiti last year, I have not been able to part with our Tahitian vanilla. It came to us in a special package from the French cooks that gave us our cooking lesson, and I refused to use it until I was ready to make a classic Tahitian dish. Until I felt inspired. Until we were ready to relive our honeymoon.
Every afternoon I would see the vacuum sealed bag in my fridge and think about when to use the special vanilla, and every day it remained in the fridge… until now.
It has been a trying week. A week that taught me how special the love is between PB and I. To celebrate our love and simultaneously enter the next Project Food Blog challenge, I finally brought out the Tahitian vanilla to make a memorable meal.
Shrimp in a vanilla coconut sauce.
There is only one element missing that would make this dish completely authentic…. our bungalow!
Taste the memories of our Tahitian trip with us. And don’t forget to play some sappy love songs while you dine.
I hope this dish brings you as much happiness as it brought us.
Shrimp in a Vanilla Coconut Sauce
Inspired by an unforgettable meal in Tahiti 2009.
1/3 lb medium or large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup rum
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup coconut milk*
1/2 cup heavy cream
kosher salt & pepper to taste
*Coconut milk can either be made fresh or purchased in can form. To make it fresh simply google the instructions. There are lots of great tutorials online. If you prefer to save some time or can’t find fresh coconut, your regular grocery store should carry canned coconut milk, which is just fine for this recipe.
Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium high heat. Add the shrimp in one layer and flip after 1 minute (bottom should be pink). Cook on the other side until both sides are pink and remove from the pan. Cut a slit down the vanilla bean, and using a paring knife scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds, vanilla bean pod, and rum to the pan and stir. Simmer until the rum greatly reduces, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cream and coconut and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring now and again, until the sauce reduces slightly. Return the shrimp to the pan and toss with the sauce. Serve over rice and garnish with fresh herbs. Enjoy!
**This is my official entry for Challenge #2: The Classics in Project Food Blog. If you enjoy this post and think I deserve to move on, please vote for me beginning Monday September 27! You can click on the widget on the top right of my site to get to the voting page, or click here!