Thursday, August 1, 2013

Grilled Shrimp and Pepper Jack Cheese Nachos

These.


Holy Cow.   Get out of Town.  Stop it.  Oooohhhhh. Eeeemmmm. Ggggeeeee.

Obnoxious much? 


Totally justified.  

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?? 

Fan-freaking-tastic.


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

Ingredients:
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)

For Nachos:
1 bag of tortilla chips
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tomatoes, dices
3 green onions, diced

Directions:
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.

10 comments:

  1. Um. You just blew my mind. And changed my menu for tonight. That looks AMAZING.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to say I'm jealous of your dinner tonight! :) Let me know how they turn out.

      Delete
  2. Pictures are amazing! Can't wait to try this....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Erin! I hope you enjoy them.

      Delete
  3. These nachos belong in the Nacho Hall of Fame! Can't wait to share this recipe with our Cabot Facebook friends!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Candace! And I actually used the Cabot Pepper Jack Cheese (I always have a block in the fridge). My fiance is from Vermont, so we are a little partial to Vermont cheese in this house.

      Delete
  4. OMGEEEEE I have to try this

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was exactly my response when I tasted them!

      Delete
  5. Holy Lord. A girl after my own heart - seriously! Beautifully delicious nachos :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for reading Barbells and Bellinis! If you'd like to leave a comment and don't have a Google, Live Journal, Wordress, Typepad, or AIM Acccount, you can simply choose the "Name/URL" option in the Select Profile drop-down menu below and enter your name (nor URL necessary).

Also, please enter your email address above if you would like to receive notifications of new Barbells and Bellinis posts. If you'd like to send me an email, click on the envelope graphic at the top right of the page.