If you enjoy Asian coconut chicken rice or other coconut entrées, you might want to finish the meal with this delicious coconut panna cotta to continue the flavour profile.

It’s my own special wonderful panna cotta recipe I’ve made over the years and served multiple ways, now recreated using coconut milk from a tin. I don’t buy much that comes in a tin or a box. But some products only come packaged that way when the subject does not grow locally.

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Open two tins of coconut milk at room temperature. Using a strong firm whisk, mash the solids into their natural liquid. Likely the solids will have separated. Add a teaspoon of vanilla or coconut flavouring. Stir in a teaspoon of plain granulated sugar.

In a non-aluminum saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon.

Following package directions, wilt two gelatine sheets in water. Stir with a fork to be sure the gelatine is completely dissolved. Check the package directions for ratios.

Remove the coconut milk pot from heat. Stir in the dissolved gelatine. Whisk gently to be sure there are no lumps. Stir in a teaspoon of my date syrup, or second-season maple syrup. Scatter a few grains of salt. Add a small splash of coconut liqueur. If not in your spirits collection, choose a complementary bouquet, perhaps a brandy. Chartreuse would work; Mampe Halb and Halb if available.

Let cool, covered at a tilt on a burner not recently used. While still warm, pour the liquid, slightly thickened panna cotta cream into individual equal-size serving dishes and refrigerate for several hours or overnight to set.  I often use small refrigerated see-through on the rocks glasses, or small taster glasses, three-quarters full, served on a glass see-through pie serving plate with a paper doily under the cold panna cotta glass.

It’s helpful to support the glasses on a firm tray. Cover each glass to prevent any interaction with other items in the refrigerator. Make a tiny prick hole in the cling wrap to allow any steam to escape. Use a rubber spatula so as not to miss a drop in the saucepan.

When ready to eat, top with a little roasted sugared shredded coconut. Spritz again with the coconut liqueur. Perhaps dress with a few fresh juicy raspberries, a peach wedge, or even a tinned drained mandarin orange segment. You might choose to dredge the mandarin in coconut. Crushed homemade candied hazelnuts from your pantry jar, scattered on top, would add texture.

You might instead enjoy each serving topped with a dollop of dark chocolate Chantilly cream (made with Fry’s dark chocolate powder) with an essence drop of coconut flavouring added. Or park a blueberry dark chocolate ganache hazelnut crisp on top.

Alternate toppings added to the coconut panna cotta just when serving: Eye candy, you might choose finger lime pearls if available; a native of Australia, the finger lime pearls come in several delicate colours: pink, green, yellow. (These finger lime pearls that look like caviar are nice served in a gin drink.)

Perhaps crack open a pomegranate and use its pearls sprinkled with just a few sea salt finishing flakes as a panna cotta topper and sprinkle with minced fresh mint leaves.

Scroll down at this link to read other panna cotta suggestions.

Some other ideas

Make a coconut flavoured milkshake using coconut homemade ice cream. Add roasted coconut strings to entrees such as rice, pasta, even to potato dishes (think salad), drenched in my homemade mustard sauce to which you have added minced roasted coconut.

Drape crispy coconut over oven-melted Brie or Camembert to serve on your charcuterie board.

Sprinkle crispy shredded coconut, roasted, over your favourite cream soup, just when serving. You might even add shredded coconut to my special caramel sauce, or instead of using cream added to the sauce, substitute coconut cream.

Paint the coconut caramel sauce over an oven-roasted chicken in the last five minutes of roasting. Likewise you could sauce my oven-roasted possets that you have brushed with my homemade kumquat marmalade.

Dredge long thin strips of bananas made as bananas foster in shredded crispy roasted coconut. Pour the flambeed hot sticky sweet dark rum butter sauce over top. You might want to serve this as an entree over hot steamed rice.

Dredge my white chocolate leftover ganache truffles in shredded roasted coconut. Or, add to my blueberry nut dark chocolate crisps.

You could add roasted flakes of coconut to my amazing cognac cream shrimp dish, just when ready to serve. Maybe serve the cream sauce shrimp in a wide old-fashioned champagne stemmed crystal glass that you have rimmed in lemon juice and powdered roasted coconut, whizzed in your small beaucoup, when ready to serve.

Add roasted coconut to my painted salmon when ready to serve.

If you ever roast whole fish using a salt cast, consider putting shredded coconut into the egg white salt cast and pack the fish for a wonderful coconut flavoured fish. Sprinkle the cast with lemon zest also.

Batter using my Chinese easy-make batter and ready-to-eat packaged whole chestnuts. Deep-fry until the batter is golden in 350 F Mazola Corn Oil. Remove using a spider, allowing oil to drip off and salt immediately. Scatter roasted shredded coconut over a platter of the deep-fried chestnuts.

Consider adding roasted coconut to my tzatziki. Now that’s different.

Likewise, dredge torpedo deep-fried extra large shrimp in shredded roasted coconut while they are still hot. Sprinkle with flakes of sea salt while hot and serve immediately. You might like to sprinkle with cayenne if children are not eating.

Top a homemade lemon pie with roasted shredded coconut instead of meringue. Or add the coconut to the meringue. Or mix the shredded roasted coconut flakes into your graham cracker crust.

For a completely different Caesar drink, rim the glass with lime juice and shredded coconut whizzed fine but not powder, in your small kitchen beaucoup.

Likewise, rim a large, tall glass of lemonade or lemon iced tea. You could add shredded coconut to ice cubes and use in several cold drinks as a flavour enhancer.

By spritzing with Bacardi Lime, you could then dredge in roasted coconut flakes by adding to my crispy sugared prosciutto cannoli-type filled tubes.

Deep-fried plantain crackers

Here’s how to make delicious, deep-fried plantain crackers: Mash one-inch-thick deep-fried pieces of peeled plantain until they are a very thin circle, then dip the thin mashed cooked plantain in egg wash and dredge in fresh coarse breadcrumbs sprinkled with kosher salt and cayenne and deep-fry again just to brown the crumbs. Only a minute.

For a coconut plantain cracker, dip deep-fried flattened round plantain in egg wash to which you have added a teaspoon of coconut cream and add shredded roasted coconut to the breadcrumbs, equal amounts. And proceed with the recipe.

These crackers, either way, are delicious. Perhaps serve with my tzatziki cucumber dip or with a dab of my tomato butter. A small piece of lobster claw meat or fresh crab is delightful served on each cracker.

The crackers are a perfect addition to any charcuterie board, layered overlapping on a narrow small tray.

Coconut breaded scallops

Pat dry room-temperature large ocean wild scallops. Dredge in sifted flour or in semolina, dip in egg wash to which you have added a teaspoon of coconut cream, then coat in fresh homemade coarse breadcrumbs to which you have added roasted shredded coconut.

Pan fry in sizzling unsalted butter. About two minutes each side. The scallops will continue to cook in their own residual heat. Perhaps serve atop a crispy coconut plantain cracker. A perfect amuse bouche.

The list of how to use coconut is endless.

Not exactly “just water…”

In ice cube trays, scatter shredded coconut in water. Maybe add a coarsely chopped bit of homemade candied citrus rind from your pantry sugar jar. Freeze solid, rock hard.

Add a couple of the ice cubes to a plain glass of very cold water in a very cold glass. Refreshing. Or for an extra special treat, rim a cold tall glass with pieces of your homemade candied citrus rinds whizzed in small beaucoup, until powder.

You could always add your favourite spirits. Pineapple juice and vodka pairs well with coconut, as does rum.

The working title for Carolyne’s Gourmet Recipes cookbook is From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks. This kitchen-friendly doyenne has been honoured and referred to as the grande dame of executive real estate in her market area during her 35-year career. She taught gourmet cooking in the mid-70s and wrote a weekly newspaper cooking column, long before gourmet was popular as it is today. Her ebook, Gourmet Cooking - at Home with Carolyne is available here for $5.99 US. Email Carolyne. Scroll down to the comments at each recipe column. Carolyne often adds complimentary "From Lady Ralston's Kitchen" additional recipes in the Recipes for Realtors Comments section at REM.


  1. Indian Coconut Milk Tomato Bisque

    Locate this copy in the very old “Tomato Bisque” column, in Comments… at:

    (September 12. 2014)

    Add two cups of hot, light, scalded (cereal) cream and stir. Makes six generous servings.

    And change the copy to read: add tinned coconut milk (or fresh if available), instead.

    If you enjoy Indian food add a mix of turmeric, ground fresh ginger, cayenne, minced onion, and a dollop of my golden oven-roasted garlic purée from your sterilized glass refrigerated jar. Add a little of my Medjool Date Syrup or Canadian Maple Syrup. Stir into hot creamed base. Let sit overnight, refrigerated, and reheat when ready to serve.

    Crisp my frozen/thawed reserved left over Christmas cake croutons in duck fat or in sizzling reserved white bacon fat just when ready to eat. Float on hot bisque just when ready to serve.

    No croutons? Check your pantry for your homemade dried deep-fried sage from your summer garden supply. Flutter a little on each cream soup plate. Don’t stir.

    A plate of my deep-fried Plantain Crackers nearby are great for dipping.

    © Soup’s On (1976): in Lady Ralston’s Canadian Contessa Kitchen ~ original recipes revived and updated

    “Coconut Pineapple Compound Butter”

    Mince desiccated coconut and pineapple. In equal portions, mix into a half pound of unsalted butter. Add a pinch of Atlantic Ocean hand-cultured Amagansett Sea Salt finishing flakes.Sprinkle with Bacardi LIME to heighten the flavours. Mash well to combine.

    Prepare compound butter in usual fashion. Add to your freezer reserve coin container.

    These butter coins are tasty on freshly made flambéed crepes or even on toast or maybe on a grilled bagel.

    Note: To de-core a whole pineapple, first slice off top and bottom to stabilize, using a very sharp knife, holding securely, then remove sides by slicing off using a serrated thin long blade knife. Slice the whole pineapple holding on its side, in half-inch layers

    Use a forcing bag large size sharp metal tip to push out the centre core in each pineapple slice. If you grill the pineapple slices, you might enjoy adding the coconut shrimps to the pineapple on the bagel.

    © Lady Ralston’s Compound Butter “Coin Reserve” ~ because Butter makes it Better. A different kind of currency.

    “Very Special Grilled Bagel Snack”

    Split a very fresh bagel in half. Brush the cut side with a little unsalted butter. Place cut side down on a hot grill pan or a bbq grill. Watch carefully as this burns easily.

    Drain a tin of (Dole) pineapple slices and pat dry. Save the juice. Freeze it to add to my punch. Place the pineapple rounds on the grill. Of course you could use thick, cored fresh pineapple circles. Sear both sides. A malleable fish-flipper spatula is a handy tool. And sometimes use two. Place the seared pineapple rounds onto the cut side of each bagel half.

    Sprinkle a few flakes of Amagansett sea salt directly on the pineapple. Top with a butterflied pan-fried in sizzling garlic unsalted butter toasted coconut flake covered shrimp.

    Split the bagel into two pieces so it’s easy to pop into your mouth. A side serving of coarse Dijon is handy to dip if enjoyed. Or even creamy horseradish sauce.

    You could top the pineapple with unsweetened toasted coconut covered lobster claws painted with clarified butter and dredged, pulled chunks of meat from King Crab legs brushed with clarified butter and dredged in shredded toasted unsweetened coconut, or toasted unsweetened coconut breaded fresh tuna that you have first grilled, then brushed with thin egg white while it’s hot, or use clarified butter and dredge in toasted shredded unsweetened coconut flakes.

    Of course there’s the standard grilled bagel and cream cheese (use my marinated goat cream cheese pucks) and top with lox painted with oil from the cheese marinating jar, and tumbled in toasted shredded unsweetened coconut. Sprinkle just a few flakes of the sea salt.

    To any of the shredded toasted unsweetened coconut you might like to add crushed fried dried sage from your pantry jar, or minced dried fresh thyme leaves or the tiny dried petals of potted fresh oregano.

    If it’s your favourite, quickly pan-fry fresh rosemary in hot oil. Pat dry using white paper towel. Whiz in your herb grinder until just coarse and sprinkle on the shredded toasted unsweetened coconut.

    As a special treat, sprinkle any of the above with my Chartreuse sprinkled roasted, dried, crushed pistachios. (see below)

    © “From Lady Ralston’s Kitchen: A Canadian Contessa Cooks”
    Turning everyday meal making into a Gourmet Experience


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