I do love football season and all the delicious home-gating dishes I create. This season I decided to up my game with a Restaurant-Style Blackened Shrimp Nachos.
And since my wife’s not a big fan of tortilla chips I also made a Blackened Shrimp Salad with a side a chips, hoping I could tempt her to try them.
As a chef, I’ve always loved shrimp and loved working with shrimp in my dishes. I almost feel like Bubba from Forrest Gump when I start talking about all the different ways I can serve shrimp.
And blackening my favorite gulf shrimp adds another level of deliciousness to those sweet treats from the gulf.
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make my Blackened Shimp Nachos. In Chef Speak this is called the Mise en Place which translates into Everything in its Place.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed the cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
In my quest to use better ingredients I opted for Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips from my favorite Mexican tortilla company Mission.
Feel free to use the chips of your choice.
Do I have to use peppers in my nachos?
No, you don’t. These are your nachos and you can make them how you want them.
I’m not as big a fan of heat, so plain jalapenos don’t always thrill me. But pickled jalapenos can be a nice addition.
What else can I add to my Blackened Shrimp Nachos?
One of my friends likes to add a cheese sauce to the nachos, making them even more ooey, gooey and delicious.
If you really want to up your game add some crumbled cooked chorizo sausage before you melt the cheese. Giving us a surf and turf version of my nachos.
And if you a fan of sour cream, don’t hold back. It’s all good!
My Blackened Shrimp Nachos came out of the oven looking OMG delicious and it was all I could do to restrain myself long enough to take the pictures.
Do I have to make the shrimp blackened?
No, you don’t. You can saute them in whatever seasoning you like. Perhaps a little old bay, or cook them in a light garlic aioli.
How do I make Blackened Seasonings?
It’s really pretty easy to make you own blackened seasoning. This is my basic recipe:
- 11/2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
When you want to change up the flavors try using Smoked Paprika instead of regular paprika. Cumin also makes a nice addition to the flavor.
For more heat increase the chili powder, or use Ancho chili or Sriracha seasoning to perk up the dish.
If you like a little sweetness add a teaspoon of brown sugar to the mix.
There are lots of different flavor combinations you can come up with using the spices you have on hand.
Can I use the blackened seasoning with other seafood?
Yes, you can. It would be good on just about any type of fish, scallops or even lobster. You can even use the seasoning with chicken or tofu.
Another way to enjoy this deliciousness is in a Blackened Shrimp Taco Salad. You’re using the same basic ingredients, just not melting the cheese.
My wife wanted a salad instead of the nachos. I did sneak some chips on her plate, but they were still there when she was done eating.
It’s easy to customize the salad with the ingredients you enjoy. It would also make a nice DIY salad bar for game day.
And if you’re just looking for a lighter snack, make up a batch of guacamole and salsa fresca and enjoy your chips in style!
If you enjoyed this recipe you may also like these: