Holy Cow. Get out of Town. Stop it. Oooohhhhh. Eeeemmmm. Ggggeeeee.
The shrimp? Perfectly spicy and limey.
The cheese sauce? Melty, gooey, heaven on a chip with a kick.
Grilled tortilla chips with spicy limey shrimp AND melty, gooey pepper jack cheese? Are you kidding me??
I've been wanting to try my hand at grilled nachos all summer. Hell, I throw everything else on the grill, why not a big fat stack of nachos?
Only two things were holding me back.
One. Time. Scott and I are usually running around like chickens with our heads cut off during the daylight hours, barely finding the time to sit down to eat dinner together by 8:00 at night (on a good night). There is little time in there to prepare dinner and an appetizer if we want to eat before midnight. Lunch isn't an option because I work a good 35 to 45 minutes north of our house.
Two. Vanity. I have a wedding coming up in three months, and, despite my added runs and amped-up workouts, I seem to be staying the same size. The last thing I need to be doing is stuffing my face with fried tortilla chips and a pound of cheese. Portion control is not an option with grilled nachos smothered in pepper jack cheese. Trust me on this one.
So when I decided this weekend it was time to get serious about the pre-wedding shape up (band wagon Paleo style), I knew exactly what I was going to make for my last carb, cheese and legume laden meal.
Best decision ever.
And no worries, Scott has not jumped on the Paleo band wagon with me so the meals on here won't change much. I will just find a way to make my portion Paleo friendly. For example, these shrimp will be the center of many a dinner in my future.
Minus the good stuff [tear].
Grilled Shrimp and Pepper Jack Cheese Nachos
Serves: 4 -6 (or 2 in my house)
Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus 30 minutes marinade time)
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 28 minute
For Grilled Shrimp:
1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 limes juices
For Pepper Jack Cheese Sauce: (Inspired by Spicy Beer Cheese from How Sweet It Is)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and membrane removed (or not if you want the heat) and diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
12 ounces of pepper jack cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons of hot sauce (or more for more heat)
1 bag of tortilla chips
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tomatoes, dices
3 green onions, diced
In a medium bowl, mix chili powder, cumin, salt, olive oil and lime juice together. Add shrimp, tossing to coat well, and allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Heat grill to high heat. Skewer shrimp and grill over high heat for 2 minutes per side. Remove and allow to cool. Reduce grill to medium heat in preparation for nachos. Heat a saucepan over medium high heat. Add olive oil and allow to heat for a minute before adding diced onion. Cook onion for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add diced jalapeno and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute before adding the cream cheese. Stir cream cheese constantly until it melts (about 3 minutes). Once cream cheese has melted, stir in pepper jack cheese and hot sauce. Keep melted cheese sauce on the stove over low heat while you prepare the nachos.
Arrange nachos on a grill pan or tile (a baking sheet will work here too). I put a layer of chips down, topped them with spoonfuls of the cheese sauce (about half of the cheese), then piled on half of the tomatoes and black beans and repeated the layers once more (chips, cheese, black beans, tomatoes). Finally, top the nacho pile with grilled shrimp. Once assembled, grill the nachos with for about 8 minutes with the lid closed, checking occasionally to be sure the chips are not burning (if they are, turn the heat down a bit). Garnish with green onions (cilantro would be good too). Scarf down.