They say you eat with your eyes first.
That must be true because viewing the stunning food photography by Jessica of How Sweet it is caused me to try this intriguing flavor combination: chipotle, strawberry, and black beans.
I admit, I added the black beans – the addition that really had my husband scratching his head. Instead of eating this Mexican Monday meal as tacos, we had tostadas. And tostadas call for refried beans to act as the “glue” that holds the meat and toppings in place. I didn’t think traditional refried beans would really be the way to go with shrimp so I opted for refried black beans. I’m very relieved to inform you that it worked!
I cut some serious heat from the original recipe and I still found it to pack on the spice. Because I freeze my chipotle in adobo in ice cube trays I never know until the cube thaws if I have just sauce, just pepper, or a combination of both. Jessica’s recipe calls for the sauce to be in the marinade – instead I had a pepper which I cut in half and tossed in the bag. This method is a great alternative if you don’t want too much heat but still want that smokey spice from the chipotle peppers. Additionally, I only used half of one (large) jalapeno instead of two whole jalapenos in the strawberry salsa – by all means, if you like it spicy add as much jalapeno as you like!
Chipotle Lime Shrimp
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, halved
- 2 limes (zest and juice)
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
- Place all ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
- Cook shrimp 2 minutes on each side. I did this on a lightly greased grill pan. If you cook the shrimp in a skillet, add 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- Serve shrimp with strawberry salsa (recipe below) in a taco with lettuce and cheese or as a tostada with refried black beans and cheese.
- 8 oz fresh strawberries, diced
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1/4 C fresh cilantro (I used Gourmet Garden lightly dried cilantro)
- juice of 1 lime
- Combine all ingredients and season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*These recipes are adapted from Jessica at http://www.howsweeteats.com/2014/04/chipotle-lime-shrimp-tacos-with-strawberry-salsa-you-can-totally-preorder-my-book/*
A couple of weekends ago we went to the Destin Harbor Farmer’s Market. It was a small market with some beautiful selections. I love going to farmer’s markets because my “artistic” camera self comes out. The vibrancy of fresh produce makes me happy and I love taking close ups of the fruits on display.
It was sweat-dripping hot that morning, and one of the venders definitely profited from the weather. Her Swell Pops hit the spot. Stuart got the Vanilla Bean and I enjoyed a Strawberry Balsamic.
Across the way was The Greek Gourmet selling homemade hummus. Hummus is one of my go-to afternoon snacks, but I’ve never tried making my own. (Yes, I am aware it’s simple to do and it’s on my culinary bucket list.) There were great flavor options and we walked away with two containers! Original, which features a nice kick of garlic, and Spicy Black Bean.
What does all of this have to do with Mexican Monday? I’ll give you a hint. Read the last three words of the above paragraph.
We used this Spicy Black Bean Hummus in place of refried beans in making tostadas. And it worked beautifully. This hummus gets its kick from jalapenos. Because I knew the hummus was spicy I opted for a mellow protein to top our tostadas. I pulled out the crockpot, seasoned chicken with S+P, and dumped in some Rotel and cream cheese. We shredded it and enjoyed our Mexican Monday on Tostada Tuesday (I forget what was happening on Monday that required a postponement of our Mexican dinner.)
I appologize that we don’t have photos of this meal (sometimes hunger wins out), but next time you’re thinking of tostadas, get creative with your toppings! You could even turn them completely Greek and use original hummus with more classic Greek toppings – like olives, feta, and grilled squash.
I was first introduced to tostadas by really good friends of ours. They invited us over one Mexican Monday and I have to say it was nice to not be the one preparing our weekly tradition. They served tostadas. I’d never had them before, in fact I’d never heard of them! I’m sure I’ve seen them on menus at Mexican restaurants before but they clearly didn’t make a lasting impression.
A tostada is essentially a flat taco. So if you’re looking to mix up your Taco Tuesday this is a great alternative. The ingredients are the same, but the vessel is different. I actually think tostadas are easier to eat than crunchy tacos. My beef with crunchy tacos (see what I did there?) is that after the first bite you’re no longer holding a taco, if you’re lucky you’re still holding something. You now have a taco salad on the plate that was hopefully below you, otherwise you have a taco salad on your floor. But with a tostada, everything is “glued down” with refried beans. The vessel is flat, so when it does break apart, you still have at least half a tostada in your hand and what fell is still mostly in tact. The tostada is my solution to crunchy taco night!
Beef and Bean Tostadas
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 – 3/4 C water
- crunchy yellow corn tostada shells
- 1 can (16oz) refried beans
- your favorite taco toppings: shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, tomato, scallion, etc
- In a small bowl combine seasonings. (Alternately, you can use a 1 oz packet of taco seasoning.)
- In a nonstick skillet over medium high heat brown the beef. Drain any fat.
- Add the seasoning and water to the meat. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook 5 minutes.
- Heat the refried beans.
- Assemble tostadas by spreading refried beans on a tostada shell, adding the meat, and any toppings you like!