Quadruple Coconut Shrimp Bao/Goose Island Sofie/The Quill “Born from Fire”
We’ll just go out on a limb here and say it; if you don’t like coconut, this prooooobably isn’t the recipe for you (we do hope you read it anyway for the witty prose that follows, though). For those that love coconut, you get it in spades with these Quadruple Coconut Shrimp Baos. Large shrimp gets soaked in coconut milk, rolled in coconut flour, coated in crispy coconut and pan fried in coconut oil. The crunchy shrimp fritters simply get tucked into steamed bao buns and topped with an orange plum sauce, spicy bamboo shoots and a hit of sriracha. We paired up a nice, crisp Saison with these: Goose Island’s Sofie. On the stereo, the classic line-up of the amazing Swedish stoner rock band, The Quill, reunite for their latest release “Born from Fire”.
Quadruple Coconut Shrimp Bao – The cool thing about this recipe is that once the shrimp are done, the dish is basically done. We start there, by setting up a three pan breading station. In bowl #1 we’ve got 1 cup of coconut milk mixed with a beaten egg, in bowl #2 we’ve got coconut flour and in bowl #3 we’ve got coconut and chia granola (it may sound strange, but stick with us). Take a handful of shrimp and dump in the coconut milk and egg mixture then dust them in the coconut flour.
Next place them back into the egg mixture before finishing them off in the coconut granola, ensuring the entire shrimp is covered in the coating.
We get a sauté pan hot then melt in a 1/4 cup of coconut oil. Carefully place the breaded shrimp in the hot oil.
The shrimp only need 1-2 minutes per side for the coating to brown and the shrimp to cook through. Remove from heat.
To assemble we steam the bao buns then place a shrimp in each.
The sauce goes on top which is just 1/2 cup plum sauce mixed with a quarter cup of orange juice and a hit of sriracha. Whisk well and spoon on top of the shrimp.
Lastly we lay a few chili oil marinated bamboo shoots on top along with a little more sriracha. What followed was a White Castle-esque slider eating binge of these addicting, super tasty little sandwiches.
Goose Island Sofie – It was with mixed emotions that we featured a Goose Island for the first time since the Budweiser purchase. On the one hand we’ve mellowed out a bit on the whole microbrewery buyout thing and Goose Island IS still controlling the brewing of their non 312, Green Line, Pils and IPA beers, such as Sofie. On the other hand, we’ve always been about featuring true American microbreweries. As that microbrewery line continues to get more blurred, it gets increasingly harder to determine exactly what a microbrew or craft beer is, so here we are. This Belgian-style Saison pours cloudy, yet effervescent with a slight bubbly head. The aroma is sweet and tart with apricot and lemon notes. On the flavor side, it’s a pretty perfect saison. Bubbly and light yet with tons of yeasty flavor like a dry champagne. The light mouthfeel played perfectly with the spicy baos making for an excellent pairing.
The Quill “Born from Fire” – Almost two decades, that’s how long it’s been since this line-up has recorded an album. It’s our favorite of their line-ups, so we were excited to get some new music from this horribly underrated band. The album kicks off with “Stone Believer”, a period piece of arena rock at its finest dabbling in early 80s Priest mixed with “Slave to the Grind”-era Skid Row brought together with the fuzzed out hard driving flair of Greenleaf. The album’s best tune comes on “Snake Charmer Woman” as the band pays homage to the heyday of early heavy rock and roll tying in Zeppelin, Purple and Cactus. It also shows that the band hasn’t lost its touch in its nearly two decades, as the pipes on singer Magnus Ekwall show no signs of rust sounding as fresh now as they did back then. On “Ghosthorse” the sound takes on a slower, more sinister Sabbath-y side musically but gets paired up with huge, anthemic vocals. “Keep it Together” recalls the eerie doom of fellow countrymen “Witchcraft” to start off the song before it locks into a mid-tempo perfect riff and groove. “Spirit and the Spark” comes out with guns ablazing as the band does their best Trouble impersonation. The almost 9 minute psychedelic epic “Set Free Black Crow” is a swaggering bluesy jam that’s cool and loose. “Electrical Sons” ratchets up the intensity once again before the prog-rock “Hollow of Your Hand” brings things back to mid-tempo featuring a doomy organ and a pretty killer jazzy jam. On “Revelation” the band lays down a sleazy, swaggering groove right off the bat allowing for the huge vocals to just soar right above it. The album closes out with “Metamorphosis” a fitting name as Ekwall’s vocals drop several octaves toward Layne Staley territory, the whole tune possesses a slower, darker AIC vibe and is a super cool tune that we’d put up there as one of the best on yet another great album from this band.