Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Entrees: Cocoa-Crusted Shrimp

For some reason, Cocoa-Crusted Shrimp with Coconut Risotto strikes me as a romantic meal.  Maybe it’s because I first served this a few years ago on Valentine’s Day.  It’s a fun meal to cook with someone since the risotto requires constant stirring.  If you are cooking for two, it’s easy to cut the shrimp recipe in half.  This is also a great dish for company.

Serves 4

  • 1 lb large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (21/25 shrimp per pound)
  • 4 tbsp fresh basil, sliced thin, divided
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch 
  • 1/4 cup flour (white or gluten-free)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

In medium bowl, place shrimp, 2 tbsp basil, and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

In separate bowl, combine cocoa, cornstarch and flour.  Hold shrimp by tail, dredge shrimp in cocoa mixture, and shake off excess. 

In sauté pan, melt coconut oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, sauté until shrimp is pink (about 3 to 5 minutes), turning once.  Cook shrimp in batches, without crowding pan.  Drain cooked shrimp on paper towel, then keep warm in oven until ready to eat.  Serve atop Coconut Risotto.  Garnish with remaining basil.