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Shrimp dip nachos ‘packed with mouthwatering goodies’

Food For Thought
By Deborah Lee Walker | Jul 13, 2017

(July 14, 2017) Mother Nature plays havoc on my only day off.

Majestic clouds are not content and make their presence known. The resurging tide is indicative of my indecisive state of mind; should I take my weekly ride to Rehoboth is the thought for the day.

Food, cookery and entertaining are my obsession but a much deserved break feeds the soul of intention. Time with “Pinkie” is always welcomed. High tech bicycles speed by us; “On the left” reiterates the theme of slowing down. Pinkie is an old beach bike and does not have any gears, so our much anticipated rendezvous takes a bit longer.

My mind is made up so I need to check the air pressure, fetch my helmet, and fill the Delmarva Life water bottle. Hopefully I will be making some TV appearances in the fall; I really need to get some of this weight off. There is no hiding from the camera, every nook and cranny is exposed to the fullest degree. At this point, even a few pounds would make a significant difference.

I relish time with Pinkie and feeling the warm breezes as they embrace me; trust me one is not always a lonely number. Daily concerns are left behind and tranquility prevails. I have a few friends coming over and grilled filets, asparagus wrapped in Prosciutto and sautéed wild mushrooms are on the menu. Now I must focus on the appetizer.

Once I cross the threshold of Fenwick, condominiums fade in the haze of the sun and the only sounds are conversations within. The pure white sand and salty air instantly makes me think of seafood. Succulent shrimp are a perfect match for majestic filets mignons. Using frozen shrimp will help keep the cost down.

Everything has purpose intended and the idea of shrimp nachos comes to my mind. Shrimp nachos are a fun appetizer to share and all of the fixings add depth to the dish. That being said, I would still like to put a spin on the shrimp nachos so they are not so predictable. Shrimp dip nachos incorporate all the components of nachos but in a tasty, creamy dip.

The sun’s instant warmth puts me at ease, the history of nachos glistens as Pinkie and I continue to head north. Nachos originated in the city of Piedeas Negras, Mexico, just over the border from Eagle Pass, Texas.

In 1943, the wives of U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan in nearby Eagle Pass were in Piedras Negras on a shopping trip and arrived after the restaurant had already closed for the day. The maitre d’, Ignacio Anaya, invented a new snack for them with what little he had available in the kitchen.

On a whim, he fried some tortilla chips, topped them with shredded cheese and sliced jalapeños, and heated just until the cheese melted. He named the dish after his nickname, Nacho, and the rest is history.

I think it is time for a water break and ibuprofen; my knees are not what they used to be. Pinkie has a few dings but I could never replace her. I guess we have a lot more in common than meets the eye. Oh well, time to move on.

Preparing nachos is as easy as it gets. The ideal chip is a medium-thick consistency. Thin versions will not hold up to all of the toppings. Blue and original tortillas not only adds to the flavor but also gives color to the dish which enhances the presentation.

The protein is another consideration. Shredded, pulled, or ground meat makes for easy building. If seafood is your choice, do not overcook it. There is nothing worst than dry, tough seafood.

The type of cheese is another consideration. Stay away from liquid cheeses. Cheddar, Pepper Jack and mozzarella are probably the most popular. Do not be limited by conventional choices, Gouda and Gruyere are options depending on the type of nachos you are preparing.

The fixings leave room for personal preference. As with any dish, balance is paramount. When you go to plate your nachos, remember your eyes notice height first, color second and texture third.

Well it’s time for Pinkie and I to turn around and head for home. I am delighted with the idea of shrimp dip nachos. I know the name is a mouthful, but this appetizer is packed with mouthwatering goodies. Leave off the jalapeños and it is sure to be a hit with the kids. The summer is the time to dig in and what better way than to devour a platter of shrimp dip nachos. Enjoy!

Shrimp Dip Nachos

Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pound small, peeled and deveined shrimp

5 cloves garlic, minced

½ sweet onion, finely chopped

3 tablespoons yellow peppers, seeded and finely chopped

½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

¼ cup dry sherry

juice of 1 ½ lemons

4 ounces whipped cream cheese, room temperature

¼ cup sour cream

¼ cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise

1 (10-ounce) Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained

1 cup shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded Pepper Jack

1 cup shredded mozzarella

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

blue and original corn tortilla chips

* Garnish with chopped scallions, chopped Roma tomatoes, jalapeños and fresh cilantro.

1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add shrimp, garlic, onions, yellow pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook only until the shrimp starts to turn pink. Stir in sherry and lemon juice. Add drained Ro-Tel tomatoes with chilies.

2. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat.

3. Stir in cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, Pepper Jack and mozzarella.

4. Spread tortilla chips onto a microwave-safe platter. Spoon shrimp dip over the chips and microwave briefly to get the dip hot. Garnish with scallions, tomatoes, jalapeños and cilantro.

5. Serve immediately.

Secret Ingredient - Distance.  “There is an immeasurable distance between late and too late.”

– Og Mandino

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