We have all been to the family friendly, Tex-Mex cantinas, where things like chimichangas, frozen margaritas, and enchiladas reign supreme….we have all certainly had our heads turn when a big, sizzling plate of fajitas comes past us wafting its mouthwatering aroma from the a hot skillet carried skillfully by the server. I always figured fajitas like other things were an American invention, when in fact I have come to realize they are a take on a authentic recipe called alambre which actually has origins in Arab cuisine. Basically like fajitas, it is grilled protein, seasoned, with onions and bell peppers, frequently served with avocados. For my take on this authentic dish popular in Mexico City, I used shrimp, often times a traditional version with seafood will also feature squid, octopus, or other seafood…I stuck to wild caught pink shrimp, but beef or chicken would work as well. This dish was so popular with my family that I would consider serving it to guests or even as a passed appetizer using small tortillas. Its super easy and quick, with the whole process from start to finish taking about 30 minutes. This can easily become a weeknight staple at our house changing out the protein as one sees fit. I do like to find the origins of dishes that have gone through the process of becoming Americanized, if you do your research and respect the cultures that inspire your appetite you get a full appreciation of where the food you love comes from and the people and process of making those recipes. Food is a great catalyst for expanding your diversity.
Serves 3 to 4.
You will need:
1 lb. Medium shrimp, shelled, de-veined, tails removed.
1/4 of a red onion sliced thinly
3 cloves of garlic minced.
1 sweet red or green bell pepper, sliced.
2 tsp. tomato paste
.5 tsp each: cumin, Oregano, chili powder, salt, and pepper
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup cheese of choice, I used feta, but queso fresco is a great choice, mozzarella, or jack cheese would all be delicious.
6-8 taco sized tortillas I used the the white corn and wheat variety by La Tortilla Factory that I received in my May Degustabox
half of a lime cut into wedges
a handful of chopped cilantro for garnish.
In a large skillet heat oil over high heat till shimmering, add onions, garlic and spices. Toss around in the pan till onion become soft, about three minutes. Add tomato paste, stir to coat onion, garlic, and spices. Add bell pepper, toss, for about a minute. Add shrimp, making sure to coat the shrimp in the spices. Cook three minutes, remove from heat. Heat broiler, top shrimp and peppers with cheese of choice, place under broiler till cheese melts and brown a bit, about two minutes. Remove skillet from broiler and squeeze on lime and top with chopped cilantro. Serve with warmed tortillas, you can also serve this over rice with black beans in a bowl topped with salsa verde, sour cream, or guacamole!
Happy cooking! Until next time…..
P.s. if you end up making any of my recipes, please post a pic on instagram with the #lollipopsicle, I would love to see what y’all are cooking up! Thanks for reading!
Okay I am going to get right down to it….first Degusta review and recipe, I was recently told by another blogger, that he hates having to read the backstory on food blogs to get to the recipe, so for those folks I am putting that info first, it is your choice if you want to take it deeper at that point.
April’s degusta had some really interesting products, my recipe will feature the Nando’s Garlic peri-peri sauce. This recipe is so fast that you could have it on the table before you can even order pizza. It’s healthy, and I do really love it when I make something that isn’t just delicious but also low in carb, fat, gluten and calories. It will counter act the bagel sandwich I ate for breakfast! LOL.
1 pound of shrimp, deveined, tails removed. So you can eat the whole damn thing with reckless abandon!
¼ Nando’s, I used garlic but they have several other varieties
1 tsp old bay seasoning
½ tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp mirin, or white wine
1 Tbsp peanut oil
4 lettuce leaves that can be good for cupping the shrimp.
Garnishes that you like: I used tiny diced red and green bell peppers.
Marinate the shrimp in the peri-peri, old bay, mirin/wine, pepper, for up to 20 minutes.
Heat a skillet on high, add peanut oil, when the oil shimmers at you like a glitter covered stripper, add your marinated shrimp, making sure they don’t crowd each other, you want them to brown up. After about 3 minutes flip em, and cook another minute or two, turn of the heat. Place your lettuce cups on two plates, fill them with the shrimp and top with garnishes. Ya done, son, eat.
The next product I wanted to review was the Wilton’s Candy Melts drizzle pouch, I had, shall we say less success with this. (pic)
I followed the directions and reheated twice on top of that but mine never really got “drizzle” like, mine was more of a “plop pouch” with the consistency of peanut butter. That being said, it was rather tasty, and my kids really enjoyed it…plop and all. I think it needs a little less stabilizer (palm oil).
The lovely Candy chewy caramels were a hit, they are even wrapped with wax paper like the homemade ones the neighbors would give out at christmas when I was a kid …10 outta 10. I love Mutti tomato products anyway, so I was stoked to get tomato concentrate in a tube, best way to buy and use tomato paste, you utilize more product with the tube as the can, can be precarious to get all the paste out…WINNER! I liked the Bush’s hummus made easy, but the only thing that bothered me is the added sugar, hummus doesn’t need added sugar in my opinion so I probably will stick to buying tahini and making my own. I like the Better oats, and I would buy this again, it’s a lot heartier and tasty than conventional instant oats, great if you add some fresh fruit and toasted walnuts. The PR bar had a chalky aftertaste to me, but my 10 year old daughter loved it, so if i needed a quick meal replacement or snack if I was in a rush, I would feed these to my kids. The “chorido’s” are a snack food made with cricket protein, they have mole, ranch, and salsa flavor, they kind of look like a frito, and my kids loved them. I find it rather inspiring that a company is making a snack food that contains a sustainable protein, yeah I felt a bit weird at first, but other cultures have been utilizing insects as snacks for centuries. I loved the cafe Bustelo instant espresso, it was super easy to make or carry with you to mix with hot water, haters gonna hate on instant coffee, but I think the Europeans do it quite well. I don’t have a K-cup machine for the skinny girl tea, so I will pass those along to a friend who has one!
After nearly getting hit by a speeding van that ran a red light today, I have decided that I am on board with self driving cars. I have been in more than my share of minor-mid range car wrecks in my life. Auto accidents are fucking horrible, and I think that driving is hands down the most dangerous thing we do in a day. Yet, with all the hazards, health consequence, and expense, humans are totally addicted to cars and they are still some archaic shrine to social status! You know those “life flashes before your eyes” moments? I have felt it only twice in my 36 years, the second time was this morning. I made it out unscathed except I spooked myself real good, my heart still pounds due to adrenaline release, some folks do “extreme” sports and things to feel this….I don’t like feeling this, some say it makes you “feel alive”, I totally agree but it’s that lingering sense of how fragile life is that remains. Fragile things are usually beautiful, but often aren’t intended to last forever, just like being a human. I think the lesson is to focus on being present. Anyway, get us some self driving vehicles Elon, I trust the robots more than the humans. And if that offends you…you probably haven’t been in any car accidents.
Several years ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was given the opportunity to work in a steak house in my hometown, I quit after a month but in my short tenure I learned a few amazing things, one of them was how to make dreamy, creamy, Bearnaise sauce. Continue reading “The Kansas City Steak Company Steak Oscar”
My birthday is New Year’s eve, and every year we would have my party at the restaurant, as my mom was usually cooking prime rib as the special, somewhere in between cooking prime rib for 100 she would make me whatever I wanted to have….I always picked fish. Continue reading “Garlic +Saffron roasted Salmon”
With Spring quickly turning into Summer I wanted to share another asparagus recipe while its still at its best. With trying to eat a healthier diet it helps to have some quick and light recipes in the rotation. Shrimp is a great lean protein source, its quick cooking and full of fat free protein, which is a great alternative to beef, pork, and chicken. Continue reading “Quick Shrimp + Asparagus”
How much of life is experienced as “happy accidents”? I know from personal experience “The Plan” rarely turns out as per what my mind has imagined, and mostly causes disappointment. But sometimes on a rare occasion, in a magically, mediocre place, or situation, I have an experience that takes away the jaded, ambivalence that usually robs me of joy. Recently, I have had a few of these and it is always bittersweet, which isn’t a bad feeling, one of my favorites actually because it helps me put things into perspective. What does this have to do with tuna? Well everything and nothing really, but I was at the store the other shopping for something totally unrelated, I found some beautiful wild caught, ahi, the piece I chose was about 1.5# and about two inches thick, and when I saw it I knew what its destiny would be….sesame crusted ahi. Continue reading “Sesame crusted Ahi”