Great googly moogly! I’ve got a very special treat for you as this recipe comes from a real chef. David is Head Chef at a ‘trendy bar’ – Shenanigans – in Sligo, Ireland. I know him from when he was the Head Chef at Fidel Murphy’s in Grand Cayman.
David wow’d some big time celebrity chefs while he was here with his creative culinary creations. Tonight, he’s been kind enough to share one of his personal favorites: Chilled Spicy Coconut Soup. Without further ado, I hand things over to Chef David.
I created this dish for the Cayman Islands Culinary Competition. It was one of 6 dishes – the other 5 won medals Bronze, Silver & Gold – while my favourite dish (this one) won nothing!
I served the dish at a dinner party as a substitute for sorbet, which cools you down and cleanses your palette. But mine cools you down while heating you up, getting you ready for the next course! Or you could have it on a hot day while you’re looking out at the Caribbean Sea. And, of course, my favourite use: a cure for the common cold.
So this is a really simple recipe and takes no time at all!
1 Can coconut water
Juice of 1/2 a Lime
2 Tablespoons of honey
2 Sprig of Mint
1 Hot Scotch Bonnet Pepper
So first crack open your coconut (see below) saving the water. There won’t be enough coconut water, unless you have a tree out the back (which Deep Dish fortunately does). You can use these if you have them. If not, get a can of coconut water. The coconut water cans normally have diced coconut in them so you will need to strain.
Place the coconut water in a pot and add the lime juice, honey & mint. Slice up the scotch bonnet and add to the water – leave in the seeds, they will make the water extra spicy!
Tip – wear latex gloves when slicing the pepper. If you touch your eyes or other sensitive areas you will not be a happy camper. I know a story of a chef who went for a pee-pee after slicing SB peppers and did not make it through the day’s work!
Anyhow, slowly bring the mix up to just pre-boil and allow to cool down to 3-5 degrees celsius (that’s about 40 F for the Americans) or just pretty chilly! Dice up watermelon into small squares (brunoise) without the seeds and julienne (thinly slice) some mint for garnish. So when your soup has cooled and your coconut is ready, pour soup into coconut and add some melon and mint. You could use a napkin in a bowl to balance the coconut on your plate.
Splitting the coconut
Hold the coconut in your hand. If you want to hold a tea towel in your hand and put the coconut on top of the towel that may help. Using the back of a heavy knife, or even better, a machete (be sure not to use the sharp side), strike the coconut with a medium amount of force – enough so you feel something is happening, but not so much that you break the coconut on the first strike. You should strike the coconut exactly in the middle of it from point to point. Rotate the coconut two inches and strike again – if you have the correct amount of force, the coconut should be ready to open when you are the whole way around. If not, continue until you feel it about to give, be ready to catch the water in a bowl (not in your mouth, as Clark Kent is doing here) as the first crack appears; continue until coconut comes apart with a nice clean break.
Big-Big thanks to Chef David for this recipe! It’s a simply wild flavor combination. Your brain doesn’t know what the heck it going on in your mouth other than something ‘awesome.’ Plus, it cleans out the nasal passages as well!