Monday, June 20, 2011

Top Chef Potluck: Chipotle Shrimp Tacos w/ Mango Avocado Salsa

A few weeks ago, my friends and I got together for another Top Chef Potluck. Instead of choosing our best recipe, we opted to take the competition a step further and compete with a main ingredient. We chose avocados, and set out to determine who made the most delicious and original meal. From Sam's "Bacamole" to Heruy's Ribeye Fiesta to Ted's Cholcolate Avacado Mousse (newly dubbed "Quetzalcoatl's Pre-Columbian Dessert Deluxxe Flavor Exxplosion"), our work was cut out for us. My submission?

Ever since a disastrous attempt at making grilled sole for Quinn when I first started teaching myself how to cook, I've been a little intimidated by seafood. (We found out the fish had gone bad, so the putrid smell was not, in fact, my fault.) I considered many options centered around avocado -- a Santa Fe Chicken Pizza,  hand-rolled sushi, grilled Cuban chicken with a pomegranite guacamole -- but I knew I had to make one of my favorite dishes, chipotle shrimp tacos! I have to credit Quinn (as usual) for the mango-avocado salsa. He and his mom make it for many of their Sunday dinners, and after one taste I was hooked! Despite my seafood qualms, I tackled shrimp with the determination to make perfectly tender morsels for the competition.

Chipotle Shrimp Tacos
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound medium shrimp (about 20), peeled
4-6 corn tortillas
4 sprigs cilantro, chopped
2 limes, cut into wedges
2 tomatoes, diced
shredded Monterey Jack and/or Cheddar cheeses
sour cream

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt, and chipotle powder. Add in shrimp and coat completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. (The longer it sits, the better it tastes. I let mine marinate for 3 or 4 hours.)

When you're ready for the shrimp, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place shrimp on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes. (I recommend checking on it, because all ovens vary. Some of my shrimp cooked faster than others. They should turn from a dull, translucent color to a luscious pink! Don't be afraid to take some out and bake the ones that aren't finished.)

Avocado-Mango Salsa
2-3 mangos, peeled and diced
2 tomatoes, diced (I used heirloom, yum)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup lime juice
1 jalapeƱo chili, chopped
2 avocados, peeled and diced
4-5 tbsp cilantro, chopped
The salsa is pretty simple: chop up all ingredients and combine. To serve the tacos, heat up the tortillas (I got mine from a little place near Quinn's house in East LA that makes them fresh!). I chopped up the shrimp to make the bites a little smaller, and topped them off with salsa, extra onion, sour cream and cheese. Serve with an ice cold Corona and you're good to go! 

I was tickled pink (pun intended) with how these turned out. It was surprisingly simple but oh-so-delicious. This recipe would be perfect for a summer BBQ or 4th of July, so let me know if you try it!


Anonymous said...

I'd let you cook me tacos anytime....mmmmmm

Marnely Rodriguez said...

Oh these tacos look sooo good, love the avocado mango salsa!

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