So okay, ever since I shared with you my Grilled Fish Soft Tacos with Baja Cream Sauce I have been on a roll with that sauce. Truth be told I had a full bottle made up and was looking for ways to use it up. I put it on grilled chicken, scallops, lobster and even po’boys. It was a Saturday afternoon and I just returned home from my usual errands – spin class, Sam’s club, Homegoods, grocery store and butchers. I wasn’t particularly hungry as my protein shake left me rather full but I wanted something to tide me over until dinner. And since we were having an early dinner I didn’t want to stuff myself.
As I rummaged around the fridge, as I do this quite often as I tend to forget what’s all in there, I found a container of thawed shrimp that I needed to cook up. As I pulled them out of the fridge, past the container of fresh slaw I spied the baja cream sauce and immediately I knew I had to make something using all of those ingredients… but what?
Then it hit me… no literally it hit my foot as I was closing the fridge door. You see the night prior Mr. Fantabulous wanted a snack while we watched movies. Since I really didn’t have much made up snack-wise I opted to go the easy way and grab some nacho chips and whip up some cheese queso. Since all I really wanted was to just go back and snuggle up to him I ended up just closing up the chip bag and putting it on top of the fridge – something I never do. Everything has a place and it’s meant to reside there. Kind of like that scene from ‘Happy Gilmore’ where Adam Sandler *who is a great guy in person if you ever get the chance to meet him!* is face down on the golf green yelling at his ball telling it to ‘go home’. Just like that, chips have a proper home – bottom shelf, pantry – left side in case you’re ever at my house and want chips. LOL
So yeah as I closed the fridge door the bag of chips fell off the top of the fridge and landed smack dab on my foot. In my mind it was the food Gods saying “Hey Lor, don’t use bread, go with these and make a lighter snack instead of a heavy sandwich”. Yes, the food Gods talk to me. It’s better to say they talk to me than admit that I carry full-blown conversations with myself in the kitchen while I’m creating. I’ll blurt out things as I’m working on a new recipe and will ask myself questions only to follow up with answers. OMG the first time Mr. Fantabulous ever witnessed this his facial expression was priceless and his concern of ‘oh my God she’s losing it!’ was so touching.
He had been pestering me for the longest time to make him these Italian Stuffed Artichokes. Now I like artichokes … when they are in a salad but the way his family eats them. *GAG* Just the very thought of how they eat them (which apparently is pretty normal… if you’re weird *wink*. You see after they are all stuffed and cooked for what seems like a bajillion hours you this steaming hot thing on your plate that’s all of cheese and good stuff and then you pluck a leaf from it. What follows next befuddles me as I, for the life of me have no idea how someone thought “Hey, let’s stuff these, steam boil them for an hour or so, pluck a leaf and then SCRAPE THEM AGAINST our teeth. Yeah, that should be delicious!” WTH? Exactly what drug were these people on that invented this? It’s like my seeing a cactus in the desert and saying “Mmmm lemme bit down on the leaf and then pull it between my teeth scraping off whatever comes off.” But none the less I tried it and was not only so grossed out but it freaked the hell out of me. Mama Fantabulous literally stood there belly laughing at me and my facial expression when I tried my one AND ONLY ONE leaf. I didn’t know whether to gag or throw up. Yes the flavors are awesome but dude, you’re scraping foliage against your teeth!
But back to my making these the first time for him at home. I didn’t have his Mom’s recipe and as I said I only had one leaf and didn’t see how his Mom made them so I truly had to go from a single freaked out memory. While I was standing there with my back to him I literally was talking out loud almost to the artichokes trying to recall what was all in them. Oh sure he offered up his suggestions “Um it has cheese in it and um, other stuff.” Yeah, I looked in my pantry for something labeled “Other Stuff” but unfortunately I was out of that #SMH!
Needless to say I was flying blind. I had the cards stacked against me as I had zero clue how to make these and more importantly, he knew I was making these so I screwed them up I could have just not let him know I even attempted to make these. So I stood there, looking at the barrage of ingredients I had out on my counter and about 472 little bowls trying to figure out the ingredients first, measurements second. As I’d taste one I’d comment…out loud as to what I thought it needed or didn’t need. If it was butt-nasty (technical kitchen term) I’d comment…out loud. Well what I didn’t know was Mr. Fantabulous was standing in the kitchen entryway watching me the whole time. When I finally turned around and saw his face I said “Hey, what’s up? Why the face?” to which he said “Honey, are you okay? You were literally carrying on full conversations with yourself. That’s not normal. Do you need to lie down?” LOL God love that man. I guess he’s not used to folks talking out loud kind of like how I wasn’t used to everyone in his family’s inability to talk without moving their hands (gotta love an Italian family!)
Now when he hears me in the kitchen talking it doesn’t phase him. I need to learn how to do voice impressions now so I can just mess with him. LOL I know, I’m evil. So anyway… where was I? Oh… the food Gods. I swear show me something shiny or sparkly during my mid sentence and I completely lose train of thought! But yeah, the food Gods wanted me to make this into nachos.
If you’ve ever cooked up fresh shrimp you know it literally takes minutes. However if you cook it too long it can turn into pretty much a wad of chewing gum that is the consistency of rubber! Shrimp loses its transparency during the cooking process; it becomes white or pink, a bit firmer, and curls up. Many people use its color to determine whether or not it’s done, but really, the best way to tell is by the shape. If the shrimp has curled into the shape of a C, it’s perfectly cooked. If it’s curled around tightly into the shape of an O, it’s overcooked! – Now you know!
Literally from counter top to my belly this dish took under 10 minutes to cook, assemble and plate. Okay sure I had the slaw and baja cream sauce already made up but what’s awesome about those 2 things is you can make them in the morning, go about your day and by lunch time you’re ready to rock ‘n roll in the kitchen! Hey my time, just like yours, is precious! Trust me I’d love nothing more than to be in the kitchen all day long with nothing else to do but cook, bake, do photo shoots and write posts but my other life steps in (or gets in the way). LOL No I can’t say that. I truly love my day job and the folks I work with. But I don’t have a laundry-dishes-landscaper-maid type fairy to do my household chores.
*sigh* If only Oprah or Brad & Angelina would adopt me *wink*
As you can see this dish not only looks unbelievably mouth-watering (if I do say so myself) but you’re going to have to trust me on the flavor. It’s honestly the BEST Shrimp Nachos I have ever eaten. I mean EVER! I literally had to make 2 batches of this – the first one truly was intended for the photo shoot however as I was plating one some of the sauce and seasoning got on my finger. Since they were for me, I licked my finger and stopped dead in my tracks. I said “Holy S**t! These are AMAZING” out loud – told you I talk to myself in the kitchen and my stomach got the best of me and I ate the photo shoot. LOL So once my belly was full I whipped up another batch …because they cook up in just minutes and set out on the real photo shoot – full belly in tow!
As I was taking the photo shoot Mr. Fantabulous walked out to the kitchen and stood there watching me. It wasn’t until I moved a certain way that he could see what I was taking photos of. He immediately said “WOW those are beautiful! They look really, really good! Are they for me?” I swear that man at times. LOL So I stopped what I was doing, went back to the pan and made him up a few to try. Yeah, he loved them. He loved them so much that we ate these multiple times over the next several days.
This recipe screams summer, cook outs and bbqs to me. IF I had a BBQ I would so totally grill the shrimp with the same seasoning but I think the flavors of that grill would just push this recipe over the edge to true euphoria. Maybe this will be the summer I get a bbq buuuuuuuuuuuuut I’m not holding my breath. LOL
So take pity on me and my bbq-less yard and invite me over (okay fine, invite US over) and we can cook these up together! We’ll kick back, have some cold ones and snack on these all night. Sounds like a plan, what’cha think?
What I love about this recipe, other than it friggen rocking, is that you’re using 2 other recipes that were previously posted – the slaw and the baja cream sauce. AND you also get another takeaway recipe in this which is the Creole Seasoning mix. This is my go-to mix for dishes like this. I love it on my po’boys, pizza – yes pizza and chicken. You all know how I am about buying pre-made seasoning mix. It’s uber expensive and you have no idea what type of preservatives are put in it. My Montreal Steak Seasoning went viral overnight. Be frugal and make your own!
Now if you don’t mind after typing up this post, editing a bajillion photos of these I NEED to go make myself a batch of them. These nachos are going to change the way you view all other nachos. You’ll never want those standard ones again and for that I’m sorry.
…well okay not really cause this recipe ROCKS! LOLPrint
- 3/4 pound thawed medium deveined, peeled shrimp
- 2 teaspoon Creole seasoning *See below
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 cup finely shredded green cabbage
- 3/4 cup finely shredded red cabbage
- 1 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 medium shallot, minced (about 1 heaping tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon minced jalapeños
- 1 1/2 teaspoon chopped cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Baja Cream Sauce
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1/3 plus 1 tablespoon cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, minced
- 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 3/4 teaspoon adobo sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon honey *optional
- Crunchy tortilla chips or cups
Make the baja cream sauce
- Whisk all of the baja cream sauce ingredients together in a bowl until well blended.
- Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. I actually put mine in a squeeze bottle (with a slightly larger opening).
Make the slaw
- Mix all together, cover and place in the fridge.
- Marinate for at least 30 minutes but no more than 8 hours.
- Taste and adjust seasoning (more salt if necessary).
Make the Creole Seasoning
- Combine all the spices in a coffee or spice grinder.
- Grind to a fine powder and store in an airtight jar until ready to use
Make the shrimp
- Toss the shrimp in a bag with the creole seasoning.
- In a large skillet over medium heat add the oil.
- When it starts to shimmer add the shrimp being careful not to crowd. You want to cook in a single layer.
- Cook 3-4 minutes or until the shrimp are pink. Do not overcook as they will be rubbery.
- To assemble place a teaspoon of the slaw on top of the tortilla chip, add the cooked shrimp and drizzle with the baja cream sauce.