Sweet-and-Spicy Island Fare

Create a tropical getaway in your kitchen with these island-inspired recipes for shrimp, scallops, and more.

Caribbean-Spiced Shrimp with Pineapple SalsaPhoto: Jean AllsoppPhoto: Jean Allsopp

1 Tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground coriander
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground fennel (optional)
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
2 lb. unpeeled jumbo shrimp (16-20 count)
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple Salsa
Pulse 1 cored and cubed pineapple in a food processor just until finely chopped. Place pineapple in a wire-mesh strainer, and let drain for 15 minutes. Transfer drained pineapple to a bowl; stir in 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion, 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint, 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger, 2 tsp. honey, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper.

Combine first 10 ingredients, including fennel if desired, in a small bowl.

Peel shrimp, leaving tails on; devein, if desired. Dredge shrimp in spice mixture.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, in batches, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. oil to skillet, as needed, to cook remaining shrimp. Serve shrimp warm or at room temperature with Pineapple Salsa.

Related: The Truth About Shrimp

Scallops with Mango Vinaigrette
Photo: Howard L. PuckettPhoto: Howard L. Puckett

1 1/2 lb. sea scallops
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (5-oz.) bag baby spinach
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 cup rinsed and drained black beans
Mango Vinaigrette

Mango Vinaigrette
Process 1 cup diced mango, 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, and 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar in a blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

Toss scallops with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Grill over medium-high heat 2 minutes on each side or until opaque.

Arrange spinach, bell pepper, black beans, and scallops on a serving plate. Drizzle with Mango Vinaigrette.

Related: Pucker Up! 15 Ways with Lime

Tropical Avocado and Pineapple SaladPhoto: Howard L. PuckettPhoto: Howard L. Puckett

8 cups iceberg or other crisp lettuce
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 medium avocados, sliced
Fresh lime wedges

Toss together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together oil and next 5 ingredients. Pour desired amount of dressing over salad mixture, and toss well. Spoon salad onto individual plates. Arrange avocado slices over salads; serve with lime wedges. Serve immediately.

Related: 20 Fresh Ways with Fruit

Nut-Crusted Yellowtail Snapper with Mango-Butter SaucePhoto: Becky-Luigart StaynerPhoto: Becky-Luigart Stayner

1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
4 (6-oz.) yellowtail snapper or other firm white fish fillets
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
Hot cooked rice
Mango-Butter Sauce
Sliced green onions

Mango-Butter Sauce
Combine 1/2 cup sherry and 1 large minced shallot in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat about 4 minutes or until reduced to 2 Tbsp.

Meanwhile, combine 2 peeled and chopped mangoes, 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, and 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar in a blender. Process until smooth. Add pureed mango mixture to sherry reduction, and reduce heat to medium.

Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Whisk in 1/4 cup butter, 1 slice at a time, until thoroughly blended. Stir in 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. white pepper.

Pulse nuts in a food processor until finely ground. Add panko, and pulse until combined. Place mixture in a shallow bowl.

Place flour in a shallow dish. Whisk egg in a medium bowl. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, shake off excess, and dip in egg. Dredge fish in nut mixture, coating completely.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add 2 fillets; cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden. (If nuts brown too quickly, reduce heat.) Repeat with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and fish. Divide rice and fish fillets among 4 serving plates. Top with Mango-Butter Sauce, and sprinkle with green onions.

Related: 26 Favorite Shrimp Recipes

Caribbean Crab Cakes Benedict
Photo: Howard L. PuckettPhoto: Howard L. Puckett

3 saltine crackers
3 (1-oz.) slices French bread, torn
1 lb. fresh lump crabmeat, drained
1 cup mayonnaise
1 egg white
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1/4 tsp. seafood seasoning
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 avocados, peeled and sliced
6 large eggs, poached
Caribbean Hollandaise Sauce
Cracked black pepper
Garnish: diced red bell pepper

Caribbean Hollandaise Sauce
Whisk 4 egg yolks in top of a double boiler; gradually whisk in 1/4 cup Key lime juice. Place over hot water (do not boil). Add 1 cup butter, 1/3 cup at a time in slices, whisking until smooth. Whisk in 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper, and 1/8 tsp. ground ginger. Cook, whisking constantly, 10 minutes or until thickened and a thermometer registers 160°. Serve immediately.

Place crackers in a blender or food processor; process until finely ground. Place bread in blender or food processor; process until finely ground.

Combine crabmeat, mayonnaise, cracker crumbs, breadcrumbs, egg white, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Shape crab mixture into 6 (4-inch) patties. Cook crab cakes, in batches, in hot oil and melted butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat 4 minutes on each side or until golden.

Place avocado slices and poached eggs on crab cakes, and top with Caribbean Hollandaise Sauce and pepper. Garnish, if desired.

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