The fam and I convened to watch the biggest football game of the year this weekend! Nope, not the Super Bowl, rather the University of Iowa vs Iowa State game. The entire thing was a nail biter – the best type of game to watch – and the school that walked away with the coveted CyHawk Trophy? U of I, of course! It’s about time we brought that dang thing home! It was a roller coaster ’til the end…when we crushed them.
Something else we totally crushed this weekend? THESE NACHOS. Shrimp and Chorizo Nachos with Fresh Pico de Gallo – the ultimate game-day grub!
I’ve had nachos on the brain lately – specifically the Dorito nachos I used to make as a kid which I’d toast in our toaster oven until the chip seasoning turned black. Right. This delectable surf and turf combo sounded just a liiiittle bit more elevated!
Homemade corn tortilla chips (or store-bought, if you’re in a pinch,) are sprinkled with sauteed chorizo and shrimp, two kinds of cheese, then double layered and baked until melty. Topped with diced avocados and green onions to add freshness, then dunked into THE BEST PICO DE GALLO that ever existed! Ahem, this dish is one you’ll remember for a long, long time.
I always think of Pico de Gallo as the obligatory/unwanted condiment that comes in a little plastic cup when you order nachos or quesadillas at a restaurant, which I’ve never actually seen anybody use, but making it at home is an absolute revelation. How five ingredients come together to create such magic I’ll never understand, but the freshness it lends to each decadent, cheesy bite is just perfect.
Start by slicing 6 gluten-free corn tortillas into quarters then placing them onto two foil lined baking sheets sprayed with nonstick spray. Spray the tops with more nonstick spray then bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, 8-10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. I used Mission gluten-free corn tortillas, but you can use whatever you like. You could also skip this step and use store-bought tortilla chips instead.
Next get 7oz gluten-free Mexican Chorizo sizzling away in a skillet over medium-high heat. Chorizo is flavored with a bunch of bold spices including chiles, cumin, coriander, garlic, cloves, and cinnamon. It’s absolutely fantastic and can be found right in the regular grocery store. (Make sure your brand says gluten-free if you need it!)
Scoop the cooked chorizo onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain, leaving the fat that rendered out in the skillet. Add 1/2lb peeled, deveined, and chopped shrimp lightly seasoned with salt to the fat then saute until cooked through – just a minute or two – then transfer to the chorizo plate.
Next, shred the cheese. You’ll need 3oz each Pepper Jack cheese for creaminess and a little bit of heat, and Queso Quesadilla for a buttery flavor and supreme melting capabilities. You can find Queso Quesadilla right at the regular grocery store, but if you can’t locate it I’d sub in white cheddar or Monterrey Jack.
Scrape out any fat that might remain in the skillet after cooking the shrimp then layer in half the baked tortilla chips, half the cooked chorizo and shrimp, and half of the cheeses. Repeat the layers again then bake until the cheese is melted, 5-7 minutes.
Last step is to make the Fresh Pico de Gallo while the nachos are baking. That’s just 2 vine-ripened tomatoes that have been seeded and chopped tossed with 1/4 minced white onion, 1/4 cup packed cilantro that’s been chopped, 1/2 minced jalapeno, the juice from half a lime, and salt. Easy as that!
Sprinkle the top of the hot nachos with a diced avocado and chopped green onion then set out with the Fresh Pico de Gallo and let everyone go to town. I promise you’ll be fighting over who gets to devour the last nacho in this skillet – enjoy, enjoy!
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Shrimp and Chorizo Nachos with Fresh Pico de Gallo
Shrimp and Chorizo Nachos with Fresh Pico de Gallo is the ultimate game day dish - make and enjoy out of just one skillet!
- 6 gluten-free corn tortillas, cut into quarters OR 24 gluten-free corn tortilla chips
- 7oz gluten-free Mexican pork chorizo
- 1/2lb shrimp, peeled and deveined then chopped
- 3oz freshly shredded Pepper Jack cheese
- 3oz freshly shredded Queso Quesadilla (could sub Monterey Jack or white cheddar)
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1 green onion, chopped
- For the Fresh Pico de Gallo:
- 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 white onion, minced
- 1/2 jalapeño (or more or less,) seeded and minced
- 1/4 cup packed cilantro, chopped
- juice of 1/2 lime
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees then line two baking sheets with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Arrange tortilla wedges on baking sheets then spray tops with nonstick spray. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, for 8-10 minutes or until chips are light golden brown (chips will crisp as they cool.) Set aside. (Omit this step if using store-bought tortilla chips.)
- Meanwhile, heat a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add chorizo then cook through, 6-7 minutes, and then scoop onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain, reserving fat in the skillet. Season shrimp lightly with salt then add to the skillet and saute until just cooked through, 1-2 minutes. Remove to plate with chorizo.
- Scrape out any excess fat from the skillet then arrange half the tortilla chips in the bottom. Top with half the cooked chorizo and shrimp, and half of the cheeses. Repeat layers then bake until cheese is melted, 5-7 minutes.
- Combine ingredients for Fresh Pico de Gallo in a bowl then top nachos with chopped avocado and green onions, and serve with Fresh Pico de Gallo.
- If you don't have an oven-safe skillet arrange nachos on a foil-lined baking sheet then bake according to directions.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.