Thursday, January 16, 2014

Coco Nuts





























Want to bring a little rancor into your home? 

Buy a coconut to make some homemade coconut milk.  I hadn't really given it much thought until I bought one, but coconut (also spelled, and by some accounts, misspelled, “cocoanut,”) isn't actually a nut at all, but a fruit.

However, as you'll soon discover, the only NUT in coconut is what will become of YOU as you attempt to try and open it.  So, on the off chance that you have a burning desire to develop some really great sketch ideas for your next cartoon series, the following is a tidy list of exactly what you'll need to do:


1.    Reason with the coconut.
You'll quickly find that it's no coincidence that those three slightly indented and darkened circular areas found along the coconut's base (that are also called "eyes") look just like a little, grinning face.  The Portuguese thought so too when they found them in the mid-16th century during their explorations in the tropics and called them "coco," meaning "head" or "skull."

Well, I'm here to tell you that those little, grinning faces do have a purpose.  They are there to constantly remind you that no matter how hard you try, the coconut will always be smiling back at you, with you on the outside and him, complete and content, on the inside.


2.    Tap the coconut gently against the kitchen counter. 
Then, if that doesn't work, bang it more forcefully on the floor or, even better, throw it against the wall – repeatedly.  This last technique is especially good if you’d been considering a home remodel or a room addition and hoped to get an early start with a small bit of demolition.


3.    Stab the coconut with a sharp knife, then try alternating a sharp knife with a hammer.
If you practice enough, you may be able to start your own band and be picked up by a record label.


4.    Get into your car and run over the coconut.
Do this several times for good measure.  If nothing else, it'll be a great way to test your shocks.


5.    Take the coconut to a bowling alley.
Unfortunately, in all likelihood, they won't let you play, no matter how much coconut cream pie you may promise them.

  
6.    Throw the coconut off the roof.
Tie a rope firmly around the coconut (so as not to lose it) and throw it off the roof.  If you're especially worried about losing it, attach the other end to your ankle.


7.    Wrap it up in fancy paper.
That way you can give it as a gift to someone you really don't like.  You'll be surprised at how happy that will make you feel.


8.    Open a can of coconut milk.
It's just amazing how the simple act of opening a can, could be such a stress reliever.


And now that our can is open, it's time to enjoy the tropics without the trauma.  And after all that, winter doesn't really seem so bad now, does it?



SHRIMP COCONUT CITRUS SOUP

Serves 4

2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon black pepper (fresh cracked)

vegetable or canola oil

2 baby bok choy (cut crosswise into 6ths)
4 scallions (tops thinly bias sliced, bottoms 2-inch pieces)
1 small red onion (peeled, minced)

1 tablespoon fresh ginger (peeled, minced)
1 tablespoon fresh garlic (peeled, minced)
2 teaspoons lime zest (grated)
2 teaspoons lemon zest (grated)
2 teaspoons jalapeño (minced)
8 large shrimp (peeled, cooked)

1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
1 can (14½ ounce) chicken broth

1 tablespoon lime juice (fresh)
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
chives (chopped, for garnish)

Prepare the following ingredients in 4 separate bowls and set aside:
bok choy tops (leafy green portion), bok choy bottoms, scallions and red onion.

Toast the coriander, cumin & black pepper in a small skillet over low heat for 2 minutes, then set aside.

Add 2 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil to a large pot set over medium high heat.
When oil is hot (surface ripples), add the bok choy tops & stir-fry until cooked, then transfer to a bowl.  Repeat this process with remainder of vegetables, adding them to the bowl when finished.

Once the vegetables are done, reduce heat to medium and add the fresh ginger, garlic, lemon & lime zests, jalapeño, shrimp and reserved toasted spices to the pot. Stir-fry for 2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, lime juice & brown sugar and simmer for 5 minutes.
Return the stir-fried vegetables along with their juices to the pot.
Serve immediately, sprinkling each portion with the freshly chopped chives.

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