Thursday, August 30, 2012

Getting Back Into It

I've been wanting to get back into blogging a bit.  Perhaps not every single day again, but hopefully I can pull off sharing something I've made or eaten at least weekly.  There's so much to share, it's hard to know where to begin...

In the time I've been focusing on other things, Dan has become increasingly adventurous in making use of more and more of our cookbook collection when meal planning, and taking a bigger role in preparation.  Not only has he made a goal to make every recipe in the Best of the Best from Hawaiicookbook, but he's been grabbing others more frequently - and I often come home to my mis en place (or at least all the ingredients) out on the counter waiting for me.

I've also been known to 'seed' the meal planning by pulling out a cookbook I've been meaning to try.  I think tonight's recipe might've been from one of them:  Lourdes Castro's Simply Mexican- which I pulled off the shelf when looking for inspiration for a Mexican brunch a few weeks back.

This dish came together quickly and had good heat from the chipotle, balanced with the cream.  I think I'd enjoy this as a taco, though the crunch was nice.  Rumor has it we'll be making another recipe from the cookbook soon - a tuna with a corn salsa, which should make use of the corn we've been growing behind the garage.

Smothered Shrimp Tostadas

2 large or 3 medium tomatoes (about 1 lb)
2 cloves garlic, unpeele
1 canned chipotle chile
1 tspn red wine vinegar
1/2 tspn salt
1 lb shrimp (butterflied, if large)
1 Tbspn olive oil
12 flat tostada shells
1 head lettuce, finely shredded
1 cup Mexican crema (or in our case, cream cheese)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

Roast the tomatoes and garlic (both whole) in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for a15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft.  Turn the tomatoes every 4 minutes to get an even charring.  (We cut ours in half to speed things up, cuz the dog was getting impatient for his dinner.)  Don't worry if they get black - that's what you want.  Remove the tomatoes from the heat and put in your blender.  Pull out the garlic and squeeze the softened garlic out of their peels into the blender.  Add the chipotle, vinegar, and salt and blend until smooth.  (Use caution if things are still hot, as it can splatter.)

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.  Heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shrimp and saute "until they are golden brown" (which seemed like overdone to me, so I just cooked until they were close to cooked through.)  Add the chipotle sauce to the pan with the shrimp and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.  This is a good time to do a little taste test of the sauce, and add salt if needed.

(If using cream cheese instead of crema, because you didn't notice those ingredients over on the other part of the page of the cookbook, put it in a saucepan over low-medium heat and stir until it's the consistency of sour cream.  Or, just use sour cream.)

Place tostadas on a plate and top each with a handful of lettuce.  Add some shrimp, along with chipotle sauce (add a little extra, for good measure).  Drizzle with crema and garnish with fresh cilantro.

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