Published on January 10th, 2013 | by Tasha Williams1
Loco for Coconut
Its “brick” cold outside and you have to walk an extra six blocks because the crosstown bus is under the operational influence of “MIA”. Treating your palate to a little tropical swag can help mitigate the creeping fear that you may never, ever, ever get warm again.
Start with the luscious, blanco fruit that only grows where the winds are warm and the sun cuddles you like its never going to leave. Start with coconut.
Smiley face or not, coconut offers a perfect culinary kiss to both sweet and savory dishes across dozens of cultures in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
Mixologists use splashes and garnishes of coconut to give beverages such as Coquito an authentically exotic twist. Chefs employ grated coconut meat to provide magnificent contrast in lively curries, give heavenly texture to delectable cookies like Danny Macaroons, and create new operatic costumes for already-popular items like fried shrimp. Even homespun culinarians can fry with coconut oil to turn an unassuming tofu dish into a dining room rock star. My own vegan friends often work coconut milk into recipes to boost the creamy factor that dairy addicts crave. This homemade coconut milk cheddar recipe for instance – which is dairy, soy, and nut-free — makes for awesome quesadillas, grilled cheese, mac-n-cheese…you get the picture.
Full Disclosure: I prefer coconut more when it’s on the dish down-low. While I am intimidated by anything brazenly smothered with grated fresh or toasted coconut, I will go to battle for some coconut curry chicken wings — (photo of below & great recipe featured on Big Apple Curry).