Happy Year of the Dog! February 16, 2018 is Chinese New Year. Feast of Lantern’s (Fra Diabolo Italian Influenced) Firecracker Shrimp Recipe is a favorite. We love to make this for holidays such as Chinese New Year or Pacific Grove Feast of Lanterns (celebrated on Monterey Bay each summer).
We have a long family history on Monterey Bay. My dad Archie has roots in Pacific Grove. Each summer, I hear stories going back many years about the ‘The Feast of Lanterns Festival’. Many years ago, my Aunti Gerri was proud to be in the royal court!
The Beach House serves firecracker shrimp on their menu. We had a little dinner party at The Beach House to celebrate my book birthday for The Wild Buck. The Beach House is a local favorite, a wonderful gathering spot. Book Three of the Molly and Fern chronicles, ‘The Huckleberry Hill Adventure Series’, is set during the Feast of Lanterns in Pacific Grove, California. So this location, is close to my heart and was very special for my book launch dinner.
We are making Firecracker shrimp to celebrate Chinese New Year! Our family loves the sweet and spicy combo of firecracker shrimp (the sauce works well with chicken too)! We either serve it with a chopped salad (similar to the Beach House version). My favorite take is when my family enjoys it with pasta- you can see that the firecracker shrimp with pasta is a lighter color, as it is tossed with olive oil and a little red chili pepper (How much ‘brother devil’ spice do you want? Make it to taste). Bella Sophia loves both the shrimp and chicken version tossed into spaghetti. As we say, ‘shrimp and pasta fra diabolo’ is so perfect! My Godchild Little Maxine took these photos from this years Feast of Lantern event:
Yes, our Feast of Lanterns Festival is usually cold and freezing on Monterey Bay. This dish is delicious warm or cold-perfect for a beach picnic and watching the Feast of Lanterns beach fireworks or mid-winter to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Happy Chinese New Year! Continue to follow your dreams, even if they lead you all the way to the Pacific Coast of California.
Huckleberry Hugs, Maxine
Happy New Year Firecracker Shrimp
PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined- if larger and tossing into pasta I keep the tails on as I think it looks nice, if serving over salad I remove the tails. The sauce is thicker also if you do not toss into olive oil pasta, so remove the tails if you want to allow it to stick together and eat it easier.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup cornstarch or flour
- 2 large organic eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil, to quick fry the shrimp
Delicious Sauce Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup local Carmel Valley honey
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange or blood orange juice
- Zest of 1 large orange, blood orange or tangerine
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/3 teaspoon high quality crushed red pepper flakes, use ½ teaspoon for more spice
- 1/3 teaspoon fresh ground ginger- important to use fresh ginger to keep the flavor
In a large bowl, season shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in cornstarch or flour (I usually use flour) and gently toss to combine. Working one at a time, dip the shrimp into the well beaten organic eggs then quickly coat into the seasoned flour.
Add shrimp and cook quickly in hot oil (one or one and a half minutes-shrimp cook fast, do not overcook). Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain; discard excess oil.
To make the delicious glaze, combine honey, orange juice, citrus zest, garlic mince, red pepper flakes and fresh ginger over medium low heat. Bring to a boil, simmering until thickened, about 1-2 minutes.
Serve shrimp immediately, tossed with this wonderful sauce!
We love to toss this shrimp and spicy sweet dish into pasta! If tossing into pasta add 1/3 cup EVO and some salt and pepper with a sprinkle of red chili pepper to taste… and it makes a YUMMY pasta salad main or side dish!