Coconut Shrimp Beignets with Pepper Jelly Sauce

February 2008
Coconut Shrimp Beignets with Pepper Jelly Sauce

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Beignets, a New Orleans favorite, are best when made in a deep-fat fryer—so if you have one, haul it out.

Makes: 40 servings

Prep: 20 mins

Cook: 15 mins

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 small jalapeno chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 cup apple jelly
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 3/4 pound shrimp--peeled, deveined and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 12 ounce bottle  amber beer
  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the jalapeno and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the apple jelly, cider vinegar, mustard and hot sauce and cook until the jelly is melted. Pour the pepper jelly sauce into a serving dish.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over high heat. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper and cook until pink, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and let cool.
  3. Fill a heavy, medium saucepan halfway with oil and heat over medium-high heat until the oil registers 360 degrees on a deep-fat thermometer. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss together the flour, coconut, scallions, baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk in the beer and 1/4 cup water. Stir the shrimp into the batter.
  4. Using two soup spoons, scoop some shrimp and batter into one spoon, then, with the other spoon, scrape the batter into the hot oil. Fry 6 beignets at a time, turning once, until puffy and light brown, 1 minute on each side. Transfer the beignets to a paper-towel-lined plate; season with salt. Serve hot with the pepper jelly sauce.
  • Make the dipping sauce up to a day in advance; warm briefly in the microwave before serving with the beignets.