The Philippines meets Antigua - that's what Chef Ronaldo Collantes calls the mouthwatering delicacies he prepares at the amazing Captain's Quarters at the Catamaran Hotel in Falmouth Harbour.
Born halfway across the world in the Philippines, Collantes migrated to Antigua seven years ago, and has cooked up some storms at some of the top restaurants before settling into these Quarters six months ago.
A warm smile lets you know he puts his heart and soul into his dishes. This spirited chef could not help but recount his experience as a participant in this year's Wadadli Music Fest cook-off segment of the 2010 Sailing Week activities. Collantes had to light a coal pot, which he said was a hilarious off-track experience.
This artist prides himself on being well-rounded, since he is also trained in the business aspects of the kitchen. He has had training in management and leadership, the bottom line about costing and guardmandre (specialization in cold menus).
But even with his vast wealth of knowledge, our chef wanted to prepare a recipe that is simple, quick, and memorable for all you wannabe chefs. You will have fun with this one, trust me. The wild coconut shrimp salad is indeed playfully wild.
3 tablespoons coconut flakes
1/4 cup shredded green and red cabbage (each)
1/4 cup shredded Romaine and local lettuce (each)
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
3-4 strands of spaghetti, boiled
Reduced balsamic vinegar
Coat cleaned, raw shrimps with coconut flakes. Meanwhile, get that deep fryer hot with just enough cooking oil to cover the shrimp. Gentle put in the coated shrimp to fry until golden brown. You are already halfway to the complete meal.
Toss all the vegetables together. In a small bowl, whisk together your olive oil and vinegar. This is your vinaigrette. Drizzle over your salad.
This is where you have fun. Shape each of your cooked pasta strands into something - anything: a heart to represent your love, a diamond to send a subtle message, or a whimsical shape to show your fun side.
If you have one of those deep fry strainers, it's best to shape your pasta in that, then immerse into hot oil. If not, shape your pasta in a hot skillet with enough oil. Set your fried pasta aside.
Plate your salad in a nice salad bowl. Your are trying to impress here. Decorate your salad with your fried coconut shrimp and crown with your fried pasta, just like the chef in the photo. You could either use your reduced balsamic (boiled until thickened) and fresh dressing as dips, or you could spoon them around the sides of the plate for added garnish.
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