Spicy Shrimp and Guacamole Nacho Bites

Spicy Shrimp and Guacamole Nacho Bites

A couple weeks ago I finally got the opportunity to try a spicy shrimp taco that I had read about in Saveur over 2 years ago.  The article was about a taco eating trip down highway 99 in California with stops mostly in agricultural areas with larger mexican populations.  I was busy with school and too far away from the restaurants at the time, but I love Mexican food so the article sat in the back of my mind, added onto the running list of food anecdotes and meal ideas I keep in a dark corner somewhere in there.  When I found myself in Fresno recently I somehow unearthed the article from the depths of my subconscious and hopped on Yelp to make sure they were still open.

Spicy Shrimp and Guacamole Nacho Bites

The tacos.  Were.  Great.  There’s no shortage of delicious tacos in California, and especially not in Fresno, but these stood out as different than what I would usually get.  A flour tortilla holds rice, cheese, guacamole and shrimp bathed in a hot sauce.  They were so filling I could barely finish my second one, but I wanted more of those shrimp.  

Spicy Shrimp and Guacamole Nacho Bites
For my own adaptation I kept the best parts of the taco and ditched the rice and cheese.  These shrimp nacho bites are crunchy and loaded with freshly made guacamole and shrimp.  Avocados and shrimp can be what I call “quiet” flavors in their plain state, but with so many other fresh flavors and spices, the end product is super flavorful and the perfect combination of crunchy, creamy, fresh and spicy.

Spicy Shrimp and Guacamole Nacho Bites

Spicy Shrimp and Guacamole Nacho Bites
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 3 6” corn tortillas or 12 thick tortilla chips
  2. 12 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  3. 1 t. garlic powder
  4. ¼ t. smoked paprika
  5. ¼ t. cayenne pepper
  6. ⅛ red onion
  7. 2 avocados
  8. ½ serrano pepper
  9. 2 T chopped cilantro
  10. 2-3 limes
  11. 2 ½ t. kosher salt, divided
  12. 12 cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
  13. Salt
  14. Vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Begin heating ½” of vegetable or other neutral tasting oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Stack your tortillas and cut them into quarters. Check the heat by dipping a corner of the tortilla into the oil and if it begins bubbling rapidly the oil is ready. Add as many of the chips as can fit in the pan without any of them overlapping and cook, flipping occasionally until golden brown and bubbling has nearly subsided. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle immediately with salt. Continue to cook the rest of the chips in the same manner. If making ahead, allow to completely cool and then store in an airtight container.
  2. Chop the shrimp into bite sized pieces and combine in a bowl with the garlic, paprika, cayenne, 2 t. salt, and 1 t. oil. Slice the red onion thinly lengthwise and set aside. Cut 1 lime into wedges.
  3. Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Mash slightly with a fork, adding ½ t. kosher salt. Dice the serrano pepper and add to the avocado along with the cilantro and the juice of 1 lime. Continue to mash the guacamole to the consistency you prefer, then taste to see if it needs more salt or lime juice and adjust as needed.
  4. Heat 2 T. vegetable oil over medium heat in a skillet large enough to hold all the shrimp in a single layer. Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes, until the shrimp has just turned pink. Remove from heat and begin assembling nachos. Add a dollop of guacamole on top of each chip, followed by a spoonful of shrimp a few slices of red onion, and cherry tomatoes. Garnish with an extra squeeze of lime juice from the wedges you cut earlier.
Notes
  1. While you can make some components of this dish ahead of time, they must be assembled right before serving to avoid sogginess. If you're making these for a party and want to make as much ahead of time as possible, I would suggest making the chips and chopping and marinating the shrimp 1-2 days ahead of time. The guacamole can be made in the morning and stored in a bowl in the fridge with plastic wrap pressed directly on top so that it doesn't have contact with any air.
Cravings & Crumbs http://www.cravingsandcrumbs.com/
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Buttermilk Granola

Buttermilk Granola | Cravings & Crumbs

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about and been inspired by peaches and cream.  For the Fourth of July I made a fresh peach tart with a graham cracker crust and a light pastry cream.  Next week I’ll be making a peach cake with vanilla ice cream for a family gathering, and for everyday i’ve been eating lightly sweetened Greek yogurt with fresh peaches.  So good, especially since I’ve been waiting about 10 months for good peaches to come back.  

Buttermilk Granola | Cravings & Crumbs

To give my morning yogurt more substance and a little crunch I whipped up a batch of homemade granola last weekend.  I followed a recipe posted recently by Stella Parks on Serious Eats that intrigued me.  She uses buttermilk to soften the oats, then adds the sugar and allows it to dissolve.  It seems counterintuitive to wet your oats just to dehydrate them again in the oven, but trust me the results are worth it.  What you end up with is granola that is a lighter and crispier than you would normally get with an even coating of sweetness.  I prefer my granola with only nuts, but feel free to add any dried fruit as the granola cools after baking.

Buttermilk Granola
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Ingredients
  1. 3 ½ c. old fashioned rolled oats
  2. ⅓ c. wheat germ (optional)
  3. 1 c. buttermilk
  4. 1 stick (8 T.) unsalted butter, melted
  5. 1 c. granulated sugar
  6. ½ t. kosher salt
  7. 1 t. ground cinnamon
  8. ¼ t. ground allspice
  9. ½ c. whole raw almonds
Instructions
  1. In a bowl combine rolled oats, wheat germ, buttermilk and melted butter. Stir to combine and let sit for 20 mins for the buttermilk to soak into the oats.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients and allow to sit for 30 mins for the sugar to dissolve and coat the oats. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread granola mixture evenly onto lined pan. Place in oven and cook for about an hour and 20 mins, stirring every 20 mins, making sure to move the granola from the edges toward the center so they get evenly cooked.
  4. Once granola is golden brown and cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool on the sheet pan for at least 30 mins. Add any dried fruits or other add-ins while the granola cools. Store in an airtight container.
Notes
  1. Feel free to change the spices and granola additions to your liking. This recipe is only a template!
Adapted from Stella Parks via Serious Eats
Cravings & Crumbs http://www.cravingsandcrumbs.com/
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