February 21, 2014

Red Lobster Lobsterfest Review and Baked Coconut Shrimp with Pina Colada Sauce Recipe


My parent's like to joke that I was born with expensive tastes because as far as I can remember my favorite food has always been lobster. It's a tradition on my birthday that I order a lobster dish, my favorite being steamed Maine lobster. When I was a child, every year my parents would treat me to my birthday lobster dinner at Red Lobster. I remember going up to the live lobster tank and choosing the lucky (or not so lucky!) lobster I would dine on for my birthday meal. Good times at Red Lobster!
So, obviously I was tickled pink when Red Lobster asked me to dine at their restaurant and review their new LobsterFest menu. Dream come true, right? Even better I decided to go on Valentine's Day and take my sweet Valentine, Ava too. She, of course, is a seafood lover just like her mama!
That's little Nicole in the middle circa late 80s on my birthday! You bet I ate at Red Lobster that night!
I received a Red Lobster gift card for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

Did you know?

The first Red Lobster opened in 1968 and they were the first casual dining seafood restaurant company to open locations across the nation.  Today they serve approximately 10 million pounds of lobster each year (!!!) at more than 600 restaurants across North America.
It's that time again: Lobsterfest
        
New to the Lobsterfest menu this year are the following selections:
  Dueling Lobster Tails
  Ultimate Surf and Turf
  Lobster in Paradise

Visit www.redlobster.com for locations near you!

Read about my Red Lobster Lobsterfest dining experience below!      

I started our meal with a virgin Berry Mango Daiquiri and Ava had Pink Lemonade. Festive drinks for Valentine's! Also how adorable is the heart in my drink! 
Those Red Lobster bartenders are impressive!
The Cheddar Bay Biscuits at Red Lobster are famous and for good reason!
Hot, fluffy, and tasty and, of course, Ava dug right in!

Yum biscuits! My little foodie :)
Appetizer time: We ordered the Seaside Sample.
Lobster-Crab-and-Seafood-Stuffed Mushrooms, Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp and Chilled Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail.
 Y'all know I love Coconut Shrimp and pina colada sauce (recipe below) and these were fantastic as usual. Golden and beautiful crust with tender shrimp underneath. I was in heaven!
 The stuffed mushrooms were hot and bubbly and covered in gooey cheese. Doesn't get much better than that! Check out those big chunks of seafood baked in!
 
I love shrimp almost as much as lobster and I think eating fresh steamed jumbo shrimp cocktail is the best way to enjoy the sweet and tender crustacean. Remember to dip! Red Lobster makes some awesomesauce sauce's (haha) and their cocktail sauce pairs perfectly with the shrimp.
2nd course: Salad time. I was starting to feel guilty with my indulgent Valentine's meal so thanks Red Lobster for including a side salad with all entrees! Ava was fond the combo of honey mustard and cucumbers!

She learns from the best: Mama's a dipper and now so is my girl! If she sees sauce on the plate she wants to try it!
The best part hands down: Entree time! I ordered a new entree from the Lobsterfest menu:  
Lobster in Paradise
This included a split Maine lobster tail fried in their signature coconut batter, spicy grilled shrimp and a lobster-and-shrimp bake topped with toasted crushed macadamia nuts.
My mouth watered just reading the description on the menu and I must say once I ate it, it was a home run! I had never had coconut fried lobster before and it was cooked perfectly! Just like their coconut shrimp it was crunchy and sweet on the outside and juicy and tender inside. Of course we dipped it in their tasty Pina Colada sauce (recipe below). The lobster and shrimp bake was a clever combo, similar to a gratin, and the crunchy addition of macadamia nuts on top was a fun tropical flavor. End result: I was in Paradise with the Lobster in Paradise!
Coconut Fried Lobster Tail.

Spicy shrimp skewer and rice pilaf.
Lobster and Shrimp Bake with Macadamia Nuts.
She liked the Lobster but Ava's favorite food of the night? Broccoli!
She may be cute but she sure is messy! 
Atleast she ate most of the food she crushed on the table!

Overall, we had a hearty, fresh seafood dinner. The food was flavorful and the portions were large (I took a whole meal home in leftovers!). The service, even on a busy holiday, was polite and fast and I noticed everyone working together as a team. I will definitely be back to the Beaumont, TX location. Thanks Red Lobster for a fantastic Valentine's Lobsterfest dinner!

I am so blessed to call this beautiful girl my daughter! What a great Valentine's Day we had. Our dinner at Red Lobster was the perfect meal the end our fun day!
 
 I couldn't end without sharing a recipe! I'll leave the lobster to Red Lobster since they do it best but how about my version of coconut shrimp and pina colada dipping sauce? It turned out excellent, flavorful and crunchy and the sweet sauce was the ideal accompaniment! Bonus: I love that I didn't have to worry about the mess and smell of frying the shrimp!

Oven Baked Coconut Shrimp with Pina Colada Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

Coconut Shrimp:
  • 1/2 lb medium to large shrimp, peeled, tail on, deveined, and butterflied
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup pina colada drink mix (I used Coco Real)
  • 2 tbsp water (or you can sub coconut rum if you want to be wild and crazy!)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • nonstick cooking spray

Pina Colada Sauce:
  • 8oz can crushed pineapple (with juice)
  • 1 cup Pina Colada drink mix (I used Coco Real)
  • 1 cup sour cream

Directions:

For the shrimp:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum and coat with non stick cooking spray. 
  3. Make a breading station with three bowls/plates: one with flour, one with shredded coconut and panko, and one mixed with pina colada drink mix and water.
  4. Dip the shrimp in pina colada mix first (letting excess drip off), then flour, then back in pina colada mix, then coconut panko.
  5. Lay coated shrimp on lined baking sheet in 3 or 4 rows.
  6. Once all shrimp are on the baking sheet, spray with non stick spray. 
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, turning over half way through so they brown on both sides.
  8. Serve warm with pina colada dipping sauce.
For the sauce:
  1. Mix together all 3 ingredients.
  2. Place in the fridge for atleast 30 minutes.
  3. Serve chilled or room temp on the side with coconut shrimp.
Simply mix all three ingredients together for the pina colada sauce then refrigerate so it can chill and the flavors can blend. Absolutely delicious with seafood!

This pina colada sauce is spot on to the Red Lobster version! I even brought home a cup of the sauce with my leftovers from the restaurant and compared. Identical!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and coat with non stick spray.
Rinse shrimp, pat dry. Make sure they are deveined and peeled with the tail on. To butterfly: using a small knife cut down the middle (where you would have deveined the shrimp) and spread the shrimp out. 
Make a breading station with three bowls: one with shredded coconut and panko, one with flour, and one with pina colada mix and water.
Dip shrimp in pina colada mix, then flour, then back in pina colada mix, and then coconut panko. Let excess drip off and then lay each shrimp on the lined baking sheet.
 
Coat shrimp with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. 
Turn over shrimp and bake for an additional 10 minutes so the shrimp is golden on both sides.

Perfectly golden brown, crunchy and delicious.

So head over to Red Lobster and try their new LobsterFest menu and then make these Coconut Shrimp with Pina Colada dipping sauce for your family at home! Two great meals, one out and one at home, that you will love!

Need some tips?

View Red Lobster's "Lobster Crackin' 101" video here.

I received a Red Lobster gift card for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.
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3 comments:

  1. I haven't had Red Lobster's Coconut Shrimp in a while, but I thought I remembered it having a slight spicy taste to it. It wasn't overwhelming by any means - just a little kick.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Perhaps the spiced rum.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nicole you had me at shrimp and pina colada dip! I WANT this now, craving it.

    ReplyDelete

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