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June 12, 2017
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A Grilled SHRIMP TOSTADA with Pineapple Mango Salsa!
        I’ve probably mentioned this way too many times, but I’M A JERSEY GIRL. I had the opportunity to live high on a hill above the town of Atlantic Highlands on the Jersey shore for over a decade. I lived in an old Queen Anne Victorian built in 1890 with a turret, lots of gabled roofs and a gazebo. I could even see the harbor and beyond to NYC from my house.
        This town had a SECRET restaurant on First Avenue. The only sign was a copper colored horseshoe emblazoned on the darkened entrance door. When I first moved there, I COULDN’T FIGURE OUT WHAT IT WAS—A STORE, A RESIDENCE, A PRIVATE CLUB? It seemed that you needed some kind of SECRET PASSWORD for access. As it turned out, IT WAS A SOUTHWESTERN RESTAURANT, THE COPPER CANYON, named after a Mexican canyon the owner had fell in love with.
        My FAVORITE dish was always their grilled shrimp tostada, A CRISPY CORN TORTILLA topped with BLACK BEANS, SPICY SALSA, GRILLED SHRIMP and a MELTY MONTEREY JACK CHEESE. It was served with a side of pineapple and mango salsa, spiked with way too much finely diced jalapeno. I would always wash it down with half of a Patron gold margarita, anymore and I would be on the floor.

LESSONS Learned:
1. Have your butcher or fish monger do the peeling and deveining for you.
2. The minute the shrimp have turned pink and opaque, take them off the heat, or they’ll get tough.
3. You can cook your own black beans from scratch, but I never have the time, so I always end up using drained organic canned ones.
4. Another time saver---buy the peeled and cored fresh pineapple. So much easier.
5. I don’t eat a lot of jalapenos, so I buy a few and freeze them whole. Remember not to rub your eyes after you cut them!

Grilled Shrimp Tostadas with Pineapple Mango Salsa
(inspired by The Copper Canyon)

1 mango, ½” dice, about 1 ½ cups
½ of a ripe pineapple, ½” dice, about 2 ½ cups
1-2 Tablespoons finely diced jalapenos, from one jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed
20 raw shrimp (about 20 to a pound), peeled and deveined
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper for sprinkling
4 six inch corn tortillas
1 cup black beans, drained
½ cup salsa
1 cup grated Monterey Jack, or another melty cheese, about 3-4 oz.

Make the tostadas:
        Preheat the grill.
        Combine the diced mango, pineapple and jalapeno in a medium size bowl and set aside.
        Place the shrimp in a medium size bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Turn down the grill to a medium heat, oil the grill grates and grill the shrimp until just turned pink and opaque, about 2 minutes on each side. Immediately remove them from the grill and set aside.
        Lay the 4 corn tortillas on the grill and toast both sides until crisped on the edges with grill marks, about 4 -5 minutes. Remove to a platter.
        Top each tortilla with ¼ cup of the black beans, 2 Tablespoons of the salsa, 5 shrimp and finally ¼ cup of the cheese.
        Place the tostadas back on the grill, close the lid and heat until the cheese has completely melted, about 4 -5 minutes. If the tortillas are getting too brown, turn the grill off and let the residual heat melt the cheese. Serve with the mango pineapple salsa on the side.

Serves 4 (or 2 really hungry people).     YUM!
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