"When Stephen and I were dating, there was nothing he loved more than a Red Baron pizza and going to the local Outback steakhouse," says Ayesha Curry

By Ana Calderone
September 24, 2020 03:06 PM
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Take a trip down memory lane with Ayesha Curry — through food of course!

Curry is always developing new recipes, whether it's for her family meals or her new cookbook The Full Plateand often times she looks to her past for inspiration, she tells PEOPLE in this week's issue.

Take her pancake-battered coconut shrimp for example. The dish was modeled after her go-to order at Outback Steakhouse during her early dating years with her husband, NBA star Stephen Curry.

"When Stephen and I were dating, there was nothing he loved more than a Red Baron pizza and going to the local Outback steakhouse," Curry writes in The Full Plate. "I remember his order like it was yesterday: Caesar Salad, 6-ounce Victoria's Filet Mignon, Aussie Cheese Fries, and the occasional No Rules Parmesan Pasta."

"I, on the other hand always opted for the Coconut Shrimp," she continues, "which I have always had a soft spot for in my heart."

Kimberly White/Getty

To make them "even better," she updated the dish by dredging the shrimp in pancake mix before frying till golden brown. (Get the full recipe in this week's issue and below.)

“Now my kids love them!” the mom to Riley, 8, Ryan, 5, and Canon, 2 tells PEOPLE. “Kids are naturally drawn to anything fried, but these, in particular, have that salty-sweet thing going on that is a universal crowd-pleaser."

“It’s amazing to see them experience foods from my past. It constantly reminds me of why I fell in love with food in the first place," she adds. "That ability to connect people through a flavor or a dish is really like nothing else."

Victor Protasio

Ayesha Curry's Pancake-Battered Coconut Shrimp

Canola oil, for frying

1 cup pancake mix (such as Krusteaz), divided

½ cup dark ale beer

1 large egg

½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling

2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, divided

1 lb. extra-large peeled, deveined raw shrimp, tail-on

1. Pour oil to a depth of 1 inch in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot; heat over medium high until it registers 360° on a deep-frying thermometer. Line baking sheet with paper towels; set aside.

2. Add ¼ cup pancake mix to a large bowl. Stir together beer, egg, salt, ½ cup coconut and remaining ¾ cup pancake mix in a second large bowl until batter is combined. Place remaining 1½ cups coconut on a rimmed plate.

3. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels; place in bowl of dry pancake mix, and toss to coat. Holding by tail, dip 1 coated shrimp at a time into batter, letting any excess drip off, and then dredge in coconut, pressing and rolling gently to coat well. Place coconut-battered shrimp on a plate.

4. Working in batches, fry a few shrimp at a time in hot oil, turning once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle right away with salt. Skim oil to remove any bits of batter, and repeat with remaining shrimp. Serve hot.

Serves: 4

Active time: 20 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

The Full Plate: Flavor-Filled, Easy Recipes for Families with No Time and a Lot to Do is available now on amazon.com.

For more from Ayesha Curry, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.