Plantain And Shrimp Baskets With Coconut-Peanut Sauce
Thinking about hosting a gathering for friends and family? Nothing against cheese and crackers or crudité platters, but with a little extra effort, you can put together a starter that will make your guests smile at the scrumptious combination of flavors in these plantain and shrimp baskets. Not only are these Latin appetizers delicious, but, presentation-wise, they’re really appealing.
The crunchiness of the plantains, plus the richness of the sauce, combined with the pure and delicate flavor and texture of shrimp, makes this dish a favorite.
A lot of people with high cholesterol avoid shrimps as they contain a good amount of cholesterol, (about 180 mg per 3 oz. serving). However, shrimps can be part of a heart healthy diet as they are very low in fat, especially saturated fat, the type of fat that is more directly linked to the increase of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol and decrease in HDL or ‘good’ blood cholesterol. In addition, shrimps are a good source of protein and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Fresh shrimps are rather rare to find, especially if you live in an area away from their natural source. Thus, frozen shrimp can be an alternative. Always defrost shrimp in the refrigerator. If this is not possible, place shrimps under cold running water until defrost. Never cook shrimps that are still partially or fully frozen to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
Ingredients & Method: (Yields: 12 baskets)
- 2 large green plantains, peeled
- Cooking spray
- 1 lb. shelled and deveined shrimp
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 Roma diced tomatoes, skinned and deseeded
- 2 Garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ cup low-fat coconut milk
- 1 ½ Tbsp natural, unsweetened/unsalted peanut butter
- ¼ cup unsalted vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven 375F. Shred the plantains, season with garlic powder and freshly ground pepper. Coat a 12-mini muffins tin with cooking spray. Cover the bottom and sides of the tin with the plantain (Don’t put too much for a crispier layer). Bake for 30 minutes or until edges are crispy and golden brown, set aside to cool.
Sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, peanut butter, vegetable broth, herbs and spices. Continue to cook until sauce has thickened (6-8 minutes approximately). Add shrimp and cook until opaque and pink, 2-3 minutes.
Spoon in some of the sauce into each plantain basket. Place shrimps on top and garnish with fresh cilantro.
Note: You can add some sliced avocado for richer results