Gulf Shrimp with Coconut Raisin Sauce and Plantain Cakes with Raisin-Cocoa Bean Recado

Submitted by: Robert Del Grande

Start any party with this showy appetizer.


  • Serving Size: 2 plantain cakes


    Coconut Raisin Sauce

    • 6 tablespoons (2 ounces) California raisins
    • 5 garlic cloves (about 1/2 ounce)
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 chipotle chile canned in adobo sauce
    • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) coconut purée*
    • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt

    Raisin-Cocoa Recado

    • 2 ancho chiles
    • 1 chipotle chile canned in adobo sauce (optional)
    • 6 tablespoons (2 ounces) California raisins
    • 2/3 cup hot water
    • 6 tablespoons (2 ounces) smoked almonds, coarsely chopped
    • 1 ounce cocoa nibs or melted chocolate
    • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter, melted
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 large ripe plantains
    • Shredded iceberg lettuce; for garnish
    • cilantro leaves, for garnish
    • 12 large Gulf shrimp (10/15 count)


    Coconut Raisin Sauce

    Combine raisins and garlic in small saucepan and add water to cover. Heat to boil and simmer until raisins are plump and garlic is tender. Drain and cool. Turn into food processor; add remaining ingredients and process until very smooth. Store in refrigerator.

    Raisin-Cocoa Recado

    Stem and seed chiles. Char lightly in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant. In bowl, combine with chipotle, raisins and hot water; let soak for 30 minutes. Turn all into blender and purée until smooth. Combine almonds and cocoa nibs in food processor and process until finely ground. With processor running, add chile purée, melted butter and salt. Process until smooth.

    Peel plantains and cut into 1/2-inch rounds. Deep fry until golden brown and heated through. Divide and press the fried slices lightly together to form 12 small cakes. Set aside.

    To Serve

    Poach or steam shrimp until done (145°F). Peel and devein leaving tails intact. Set aside.

    Reheat plantain cakes in hot oven. Spread a little Raisin-Cocoa Recado on each cake; top with shredded lettuce. Arrange a poached shrimp on top and spoon on Coconut Raisin Sauce. Sprinkle with sea salt and garnish with cilantro leaves.

    Chef’s Notes: Crazy Coconut Perfect Purée brand preferred.

    Works well with shredded pork, too.

    Nutrition Facts Per Serving

    Calories 340 (42% from fat); Total Fat 16g (sat 6g, mono 3g, poly 2g, trans 0g ); Cholesterol 35mg; Protein 7g; Carbohydrate 44g; (Dietary Fiber 4g; Sugars 19g; ); Iron 2mg; Sodium 680mg; Calcium 25mg; Potassium 566mg

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