Tahitian Vanilla-Coconut Shrimp

Chevrettes à la Vanille et Coco (Tahitian Shrimp in Coconut-Vanilla Sauce)

The heavy cream and coconut milk makes for a very heavy dish. To lighten it up, substitute light coconut milk or evaporated milk for the cream.  

serves 6

2 lbs medium shrimp or 2 lbs large shrimp
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup dark rum
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tahitian vanilla beans, sliced open lengthwise
3/4 cup coconut milk
salt & freshly ground black pepper

lime wedges for garnish

shaved, toasted coconut, toasted for garnish (optional)

Peel and clean shrimp, keeping tails on. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan or wok. Saute the shrimp for two to three minutes and or until they have turned pink.
Remove them from the pan and set aside. Remove the balance of olive oil from pan.
Add rum and the vanilla bean to the frying pan and reduce the rum until it is nearly evaporated (down to about 2 tablespoons).
Add the cream and coconut milk, and reduce the mixture by 50%. Scrape seeds out of the vanilla pod and discard pod. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Shrimp can either be mixed into the sauce and served or mounded on a rice and the sauce poured over all. Garnish with lime wedges and parsley. Sprinkle toasted coconut over top if desired. Sauted chard makes a nice and traditional side. I served fried plantain slices with the shrimp. While they were a fun tropical addition, we found them rater bland. Perhaps they needed a pinch of good salt.

Recipe adapted from Vanilla.com