While the Mrs. and I have a long-standing policy of not doing anything insane for each other on Valentine's Day, we have made it something of a tradition to get lobster rolls to celebrate the holiday, a practice dating back to when I had to teach some evening classes on V-Day and stopped by Kelly's Roast Beef on my way home (the one along Revere Beach, no less!).
This year however I felt like cooking, however, so I pulled out an old standard that I had made for my wife on our first date: Shrimp With Rum and Mint with Coconut Rice. The recipes were adapted from Steve Raichlen's Miami Spice: The New Florida Cuisine (Workman Publishing Company, 1993), which was the first cookbook that really blew my mind.
I'd like to say that the meal went off without a hitch, but I almost managed to burn the coconut rice, as I was using a pot that was a little too thin for the task. Fortunately I noticed that something was wrong in time to save most of the batch...
For the shrimp--
2 lbs. 41-50 ct. flash-frozen frozen shrimp with shells on, thawed
1 stick of salted butter
1 head of garlic, minced
Red pepper flakes to desired level of heat
Sea salt and ground black pepper
1 generous handful of chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup rum
Juice of three limes
In a large pan melt the butter and saute the garlic and red pepper flakes over medium heat until aromatic. Add shrimp and cook for about two minutes. Add salt, pepper, mint, rum, and lime juice and continue to cook until shrimp just turn pink (do not overcook the shrimp!). Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and heat the remaining sauce on high heat until it reduces almost by half, approximately five minutes. Serve shrimp with reserved sauce on the side.
For the rice--
2 Tb olive oil
1 head garlic, minced
1 knob ginger, peeled and minced
1 cup basmati rice
1 can coconut milk
1/2-1 cup chicken stock (depending on what's in the can of coconut milk)
Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pot. Add garlic and ginger and saute for 2-3 minutes until aromatic, then add rice and saute for an additional minute or two until the rice is lightly toasted. Add coconut milk and stock (the combined liquid should equal about 1 2/3 cups), bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer with the cover on until the liquid is gone and rice is cooked.