October 26, 2010

Chipotle Spiced Shrimp and Mango Tacos

While enjoying a cup of coffee and going through my ritual morning computer routine on Monday I came across a recipe challenge on Hungry Girl's website. In the past when a recipe challenge was presented in front of me I tucked my tail between my legs like a dog and hid for cover. Like I stated before, I am a recipe follower, not an innovator. Creativity in the kitchen leaves me panic stricken. Well not this time I said with my chest pointed out and head held high. That's a lie. I wish I was that brave. I clicked on the recipe challenge and read through all of the criteria and rules. I'm gonna do this damn it.

That afternoon I searched the Internet for fish taco recipes for inspiration. Reading over some of the flavor combinations had my hands sweating and my heart racing. "Would radish really pair well with mango?" I had to find out. The rules stated that I could submit up to 5 recipes and must include a photo of my taco with each of the company's products, Gorton's and Ortega, in frame. I came up with my 5 that I wanted to try to create and just wing it. Yes. Wing. It.

Never before tried product. Why buy fresh ever again?

This "recipe" I created doesn't have exact amounts. Hell! It's tacos. You just throw a little of this on and a little of that.

I dragged poor Mr. Sideline Chef to the grocery store late in the evening because I just had to start on the challenge... right this instance! I spent the entire day coming up with my plan of attack. Progress had to be made. We spent a good half hour in the produce department alone and then came to the frozen food section where the Gorton's fish products were. I knew I wanted to do shrimp tacos. I debated over their classic grilled or popcorn shrimp. In the end price won and popcorn shrimp it was. 5 boxes. My math was hazy last night. I was making 2 tacos of each recipe to try and each box serves 4. I only needed three boxes. Give me a break. A couple weeks of popcorn shrimp for every meal isn't going to hurt anyone.

The real problem came when it was time to put the Ortega products in the shopping cart. Our Neighborhood Walmart Market doesn't stock their products. Damn them to hell. I'm boycotting. Major toddler temper tantrum in aisle 3. "Hunny, you don't understand. I HAVE to have Ortega!"

Mr. Sideline Chef drove us and the already purchased groceries home. He was granted the rest of the night off to dedicate to catching up on his missed episodes of NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles. I jumped online to find out where to buy Ortega's products in our location. Two stores came up, both of which are nearby, Krogers and Randalls. I grabbed the keys from him and jumped in the car heading to the nearest store. What the hell Randalls? Ortega says they stock their products there. No time for a tantrum in this store. You are being boycotted though.

A sigh of relief was made when Krogers had their products. I was tired and drained from the wild goose chase all in the name of this challenge that I wasn't going to let the anxiety take over. I grabbed a Grande Dinner Kit with Soft and Hard Shells and called it a night. Did I take the time to find the Ortega black beans? Oh hell no! My eyes were heavy and if I had to scan any more aisles to find a certain brand I was going to scream. Store brand black beans at $0.64 it was.

Once home I decided I too would take the rest of my night off. With after running all over town to find the last of my ingredients the rest of my night already meant I was late for bed. Tomorrow is as good as any to start the recipe challenge.

While not a breakfast taco I couldn't contain myself and started on these first thing in the morning. I can't lose another night of sleep going over the execution in my head. I'm dreaming of fish tacos and waking up with a growling belly. Quiet you! Soon enough!

Go on... play nice with one another.
The Gorton's popcorn shrimp baked in the oven for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Around the 6 minute mark the aroma took me back to Seattle sitting near the pier at Alki Beach and sharing a meal of fried shrimp and fries with my dad. While the shrimp were doing their crispy business in the oven I prepared my dressing and chopped my veggies.

"I know pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. Fish Taco. You may now make shrimp tacos."
The end result went a little something to this effect: On an Ortega yellow corn shell I layered romaine lettuce, mango, tomato, radish, and added the Gorton's shrimp that were tossed in a cilantro, lime juice, honey, salt, olive oil, and chipotle dressing. The crunch of the yellow corn shell, the spicy kick from the chipotle, and the sweetness from the mango had some major flavor play happenin'. All of the flavors meld together and create a zippy touch to what could have ended up becoming just another Taco Tuesday.


Brenda said...

You go girl!!! Now I'm the only food blogger left who follows and doesn't innovate. Thanks. ;o) Your posts are great, I love your sense of humour and I would have loved to try one of your tacos. Seriously, they sound awesome. I hope you win a million dollars or something!

coolblogger said...

Nice write-up. Love the narration.

Pretend Chef said...

Brenda - There's no way I'm at all ready for tackling something 100% from scratch. At least their products help take the guess work out of some of the process. I read your comment last night before bed and had a dream that I won millions from McDonalds... I don't even eat at McDonalds but maybe once every two or three months.

Coolblogger - Thank you so much!

Susi said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I had to laugh quite a few times reading your post. I've been on quite a few of those ingredient changes. Why do grocery stores have to be so difficult? ;o)
But your creation does sound great!

Pretend Chef said...

Susi - I LOVE your blog and the Halloween treats this week! It would be great for a grocery store claiming to be a "super store" to have everything you are looking for! Haha! Thank you for the compliment.

Lick My Spoon said...

love it....this post made me laugh out loud!!

Pretend Chef said...

The way I write is just how it came out of my mouth at the time. Mr. Sideline Chef always tells me to watch my mouth with a toddler running around since he has picked up, "Oh sh-t!" Haha! I've toned it down a bit.

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