Saturday, September 08, 2007

Weekend Cookbook Challenge 20 - Show and Tell

I'm hosting Weekend Cookbook Challenge this month and I've chosen the theme Show and Tell.

I've asked anyone who would like to participate (that means YOU) to pick a cookbook from your collection and tell us about it. Is it your very favorite? By a local author? Really old and rare? Whatever, just fill us in.

I'll admit that I chose this theme for purely selfish reasons. I've got a cookbook that I've read cover to cover a few times but have never actually cooked out of (like so much of my collection). But it's not an ordinary book, it's pretty specialized, not something you'd grab to find a recipe for a fast dinner. This one is all about mixing food, art and imagination together and coming up with some amazing stuff.

The book is Surreal Gourmet Bites: Showstoppers and Conversation Starters by Bob Blumer.

If you've ever seen an episode of The Surreal Gourmet you'll know how inventive he is. He takes recipes and food ideas and goes over the top. Take a look at his Caesar Salad:

picture from

Very cool. So I've wanted to cook out of my book for ages but quite frankly was finding the recipes intimidating. But if I was challenged then I'd have no choice, right?

This book is so much fun and once I decided this was the book I would cook from it did take a while to pick a recipe. S'more Shooters? Bee Stings? French Fried Polenta? Or maybe Inside Out BLT's? They all looked so good. And then Scott sealed the deal the day he came back from the store with a coconut.

Coconut Shrimp Lollipops!

How excellent do those look????? And while a little time consuming, they were pretty easy to make, too.


Scott got busy with his coconut. We were to reserve the coconut water to use in the batter.

I feared for my life just a bit when Scott was beating on the coconut with a KNIFE. I probably should have been fearing for him.

Unfortunately, only about 1 Tb of water came out.

Half the coconut was set aside for presentation and the other half had the meat pulled from the shell and shredded. Our grater was not up to the task of finely shredding the coconut, so I had to use the food processor which shreds in long pieces. Smaller probably would have been better.

We made the beer batter; peeled, de-tailed and skewered the shrimp; and then coated the shrimp in batter and rolled them in the coconut. After a quick fry the shrimp skewers were stuck into a piece of watermelon (so smart) for holding and served with dipping sauce. We did not make Bob's dipping sauce, but used a sweet-spicy dipping sauce we had in the pantry.

Not only is the presentation stunning, the shrimp were also darn tasty. I will make these again but next time will probably forgo the skewers and use packaged coconut from the store instead of fighting with fresh.

I woke up this morning with a bit of a fever and a ferociously sore throat. I've got a good-bye lunch with a friend today and a family dinner tonight, so I think instead of typing out the recipe for you I'll go lie down for a while.

Here's a link to the recipe at Food TV.

If you'd like to take part in WCC - and why wouldn't you???? Please email me your like by September 16.

Have a great weekend!


Melody Polakow said...

How cool! I loved his show.. he is so creative.

Feel better... I think I have what you have. bleh.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

That's a fun show and I see a fun book to cook from. Yes, I have so many books I've spent hours with and not cooked from. They're in Dallas, I'm in Seattle.
Love these shrimp. Everybody has to try the fresh coconut thing once and then it's in the bag!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I do hope the lay down gets you to feeling better!

Deborah Dowd said...

Vitamin C, 1000 mg every hour until you start feeling better... works every time! I love the Surreal Gourmet! I have made his Green eggs and Ham, and the dishwasher salmon (this is really a hoot, and you should see the look on guests faces when you take dinner out of the dishwasher!

Lis said...

Ugh! I hope you feel better soon!

Love coconut shrimp.. wish Hubbs would eat coconut, cuz I'd make these in a heartbeat. I use to watch his tv show and thought it was really interesting. What a cool cookbook.. I wanna check it out!


Peabody said...

I remember when he made salmon in the dishwasher...I was so facinated by him.
Your coconut shrimp looks devine!

Brilynn said...

I've gotten this book out of the library a couple times but I don't think I ever end up making anything from it. I love his ideas though.

Judy said...

You know, Bob Blumer used to annoy the crap out of me, I had to turn the channel as soon as Surreal Gourmet started. I have watched his other show too, and now he is slowly growing on me.

The Cooking Ninja said...

Hope you are feeling better today.