Saturday, December 27, 2008

Chipotle Shrimp Fajitas and Spicy Refried Beans

As a member of the Cooking Club of America, I receive a copy of their magazine, Cooking Pleasures, every other month. I've made some really great meals from recipes in this magazine and some pretty bad ones as well. This one turned out to be a winner. Even as Rodness was chowing on a fajita, he was giving me the thumbs-up (and, if I was hearing correctly, moaning due to the tasty goodness), which means we'll be having this again, for sure.

Below is the recipe as I made it, which slightly deviates from the original recipe:

  • 1 medium-large red pepper, julienned, then cut in half to yield pieces about 2" in length
  • 1/2 medium-large red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1.5 lb. shelled, deveined uncooked medium shrimp
  • 1/2 cup chipotle-flavored salsa
  • 4 tbsp. chopped cilantro, divided
  • 8" flour tortillas, "soft taco size", warmed
  • purchased guacamole
  1. Cook bell pepper and onion in oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat 3 minutes. Add shrimp, cook 3-4 minutes or until shrimp just turn pink. Add salsa; cook 1 minute. Stir in 2 tbsp of the cilantro.

At this point, I diverged again from the original recipe and simply transferred the shrimp fajita mix into a bowl and put it on the table alongside the warmed tortillas, chips, guacamole, and beans (see recipe below). We made our fajitas at the table on an as-needed basis.

Spicy refried beans:
  • 16-oz can refried beans
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  1. Combine beans, salsa and cilantro in microwave-safe dish, top with 1/3 cup shredded cheese. Cover and microwave on high for 1/2-3 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted.

Reasons for deviating from the original recipe:
  1. Rodney has an intolerance to green peppers, so I went with red
  2. I had olive, rather than canola oil, on hand
  3. 1.5 lb of shrimp was way above the call of duty. I didn't think 8 oz. of shrimp would satisfy us both, but looking back on it, 1 lb. would have been sufficient, however the ratio of pepper/onion/shrimp was great.
  4. I opted for the flour tortillas because we waste corn tortillas like crazy. While the corn tortillas are probably better for us and tastier, I feel like a jerk for using 12 out of a pack of 36 and having the rest go bad. With flour tortillas, we can get as few as 10 in a pack, so there is less or no waste.
  5. I didn't get a lime simply to use as garnish. If I thought we'd use the lime, that'd be one thing, but I know we'd push it to the side and end up feeding the wedges to the worms.
Cost of this meal as I made it:
  1. red pepper: $0.30
  2. red onion: $0.41
  3. olive oil, a few cents, I'd guess as I already had it on hand
  4. 1.5 lb. shelled, deveined shrimp: $9.82
  5. Herdez chipotle salsa, $3 for 16 oz.
  6. cilantro bunch, $0.39
  7. Mission tortillas, soft taco size in a 10-pack, $2.99
  8. Mission chips, $3.09
  9. Guacamole, Calavo brand, 3.99
  10. refried beans, $0.60
  11. Mexican blend cheese, $2.50 for 8 oz.
So, if you had to buy everything to make this, it would cost about $27. That's a bit more pricey than what we usually spend for dinner, I think, but was well worth it. It's fast (the part that took the longest was peeling the tails from the shrimp, but dinner was done, from prep to plating in less than an hour) and was tasty. Plus there are leftovers!