Becoming a member of the Stars dance team was overwhelming. Although I had rhythm, I couldn't do the splits or ballerina like turns that many of the girls could execute who had spent years training. I remember one of the teachers showing me how to move my hips without moving my upper body in a circular motion similar to hula dancers. I kept swaying my shoulders to try to cause my lower half to move. I would practice this for hours in the mirror trying to get it right. Our winter dance performance was just weeks away and I wanted to impress! After hours of rehearsal, the day finally arrived. I remember my mom styling my hair and make-up while I went over every step in my head. It was raining hard out that night. As we drove to the performance I recall driving over a large hill and sliding into three cars who were already in a pile-up. My mom swung her arm over to try and protect me as we braced for impact. Although we weren't hurt, I cried so hard that I had make-up everywhere. I knew I was going to miss my dance performance and the chance to show everyone I could finally move my hips!
I think coconut shrimp should arrive with grass skirts. Nothing makes me want to relax on a Hawaiian island more than the sight of coconuts, tropical fruit and seafood! And who could forget a glass of something delicious in your hand to complete the experience. Coconut shrimp with pineapple or mango chutney (another word for salsa) are incredible together. The sweetness of the coconut along with the fresh fruit make for a delicious pairing. So of course I had to pair this appetizer with my favorite beverage on earth, wine! I recently tried the pairing with two wines and had the hardest time choosing which one I preferred. In the end I chose a German Kabinett Riesling. The slight sugar and fruitiness of the wine bring out the sweetness of the coconut and tropical fruit flavors in the dish. The wine has a touch of sugar and relatively low alcohol which helps to tame the spice that is incorporated into many chutneys. Because coconut shrimp is also fried, you need a wine like Kabinett Riesling with good acidity to wash the grease off the tongue. I also truly enjoy Gewurztraminer with this dish. Gewurztraminer's aromas and flavors of spice and exotic fruits mirror the ingredients in this dish. The problem with Gewurztraminer is that is can be terribly low in acid and with a fried food we need good acidity. I would look for German expressions of the grape with a tinge of sugar to work best with this dish. Other wines to try with coconut shrimp besides the two above are New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Prosecco or sparkling wine. Cheers!