Spicy Shrimp Nachos with Chipotle Crema + Pickled Jalapenos

Well hello 2015! Here we are, new month, new year, and a new plan for work, life, fitness, and motherhood! 2014 was good, and not good. A lot of stress happened last year, and I didn't always handle it smoothly to say the least. I'm ready for this new year and a fresh start.

So to kick things off, I'm sharing with you a recipe that I have had planned for almost 6 months. That is a lot of build-up for one recipe!  But it was well worth the wait. And I have to say, this is one of my most favorite recipes so far! It is everything I love about cooking. Comfort food, lots of cheese, my favorite chips, mixed in with handfuls of veggies, crema and so much heat! All piled into one big dish, where the 4 of us can sit around the table, all eating from the same plate, spilling, laughing, and devouring it all. 

There is a brewery in my area that makes something similar, but with less toppings and instead of shrimp, pulled pork. Which is great. And over the years of going there and loving their nachos I have put together a small list of how to make these nachos, a million different ways. Chicken, of course. Crab, yep, that's really good. And shrimp! And luckily we just returned back from the Oregon Coast, for a quick getaway, with a car full of smoked salmon, a few crabs and these bay shrimp. Topped with the worlds best chips, lots of radishes, avocado, cilantro, super spicy pickled jalapenos and chipotle crema. These nachos are the bee's knees. 

Spicy Shrimp Nachos with Chipotle Crema + Pickled Jalapenos

CHIPOTLE CREMA - recipe adapted from Alton Brown 
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 chipotle chile with 1 tablespoon adobe sauce
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Using a large mason jar, place the heavy cream in the jar and microwave for 45 seconds, until the temperature reaches just under 100 degrees. Add the buttermilk, place a lid on the jar and shake it for 10 seconds. Now, let it sit on your counter for 24 hours. After 24 hours, open the lid, it will look thick, add the chipotle chile and adobe sauce. Using an immersion blender, or food processor, process for about 30-45 seconds until smooth and creamy. Keep in the refrigerator. 

PICKLED JALAPENOS - recipe adapted from It's All Good
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
7 large jalapenos, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

In a small saucepan, add vinegar, water, salt, celery seed, coriander and peppercorns over high heat. Stir to dissolve the salt, and once the mixture reaches a boil, turn off the heat. Fill a large mason jar with jalapeno slices, bay leaf, and garlic cloves. Pour the hot mixture into the jar, making sure the jalapenos are covered with liquid. Let the jar sit at room temperature uncovered until cool. Then, place a lid on the jar and keep in the refrigerator. 

1 bag tortilla chips (Juanita's are our favorite!)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, lightly packed
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese, lightly packed
1 cup bay shrimp
1 avocado, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3-5 radishes thinly sliced
2-4 green onions, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4-1/2 cup chipotle crema (recipe above)
1/4 cup pickled jalapenos (recipe above)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

In a large baking dish, spread 1/4 cup cheese into the bottom. Top with half of the chips. Add a few tablespoons of chipotle crema, another 1/4 cup of cheese, and top with more chips. Repeat this until all of the chips and cheese are used, making sure the top layer is covered in cheese and a good squeeze of chipotle crema. Place in the oven and bake until the cheese it completely melted and gooey. Anywhere between 15-20 minutes. 

Remove the cheesey nachos and top with shrimp, avocado, green onions, cilantro, pickled jalapenos and more chipotle crema. Serve with extra toppings on the side, and a few lime wedges.