I’m sure you are aware that going out for a seafood dinner costs a fortune. With a 1 lb can of crab meat at the cost of $18.00 you will be able to make 8 large chimichangas. Many restaurants use fake crab and lobster in this kind of a recipe. The pure delicious taste of real seafood in this dish is SO delicious! I kept the seasonings on the low side because I wanted to taste seafood, not seasonings. Mama mia! My mouth is watering thinking about the leftovers.
This dish is not labor intensives, although it does take some time. Feel free to make the Cheese Sauce the day before or the morning of. You can also chop and sauté the vegetables ahead of time. The chimichangas are big, but I still ate two of them. I’m not huge on leftovers, but I’ll tell you what. I can’t wait for dinner tonight. Leftovers it is!
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP lime juice
1 minced clove of garlic
1 sliced green onion
1 tsp Sriracha sauce
2 tsp cider vinegar
12 oz peeled, deveined shrimp
16 oz can of crab meat
1 small stalk celery
½ cup red onion, chopped
2 scallions, sliced
¼ of a red bell pepper
Juice of ½ lime
2 T of canned chilies
1 large tomato
4 cloves garlic
(Optional, a few jalapeno peppers to taste)
Seasonings: Dash cumin, coriander, parsley, pepper, Siracha sauce
1 can chicken broth
3 T flour
2 T chilies
¼ – ½ tsp Siracha sauce
½ tsp Garlic Powder
Dash or two of cumin, coriander, parsley, pepper
8 oz package of shredded Mexican cheese blend
Pico de Gallo (Not cooked salsa) Also called salsa fresca, or fresh salsa.
2 tomatoes, chunked and seeded/juice removed again
¼ of a large red onion
3-4 cloves garlic
Bit of salt, pepper
Other half of lime juice
Pulse until it’s the consistency you want. Leave it somewhat chunky. Place in bowl and chill.
Rinse shrimp and drain in a colander. Place in a shallow dish. Mix marinade and pour over shrimp. Cover and refrigerate for one hour (No more. Shrimp is porous and will take on marinade flavors quickly). Stir once or twice while being refrigerated.
Wash and quarter the tomato, put in microwave for 1 min. Let cool and the skin will peel right off. Voila! I always use my thumbs and scoop the juice and seeds out. Seeds look unprofessional; juice is just useless extra liquid.
Scoop the shrimp from the marinade using a slotted spoon, or place in a colander. Discard marinade.
In a preheated heavy frying pan (I like cast iron), drizzle a bit of oil in the bottom and let it get very warm, but NOT smoking. Place the red pepper skin side down and cook until it’s black. Let cool and scrape skin off.
Put another drizzle of oil in pan and leave it on the heat to bring the oil to temperature again. While coming to temperature, either chop the vegetables or add them to food processor: celery, onion, scallions, roasted red pepper, juice of half of lime, garlic, and the chilies (if you use the jalapenos, add them also.) Pulse until veggies are the size you want them. Add the tomato and pulse until tomato is well chopped, but not mangled. Set aside.
Drain shrimp and pat dry with paper toweling. In preheated frying pan, add vegetables, cumin, coriander, parsley, pepper, and Siracha sauce. Cook until vegetables are tender. Remove to a small bowl.
Cheese Sauce Preparation:
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, pour in one can of chicken broth and 3 T flour. Reduce to about half. Add dash cumin, coriander, parsley, chili powder, salt, pepper and cayenne (same as you did for seafood). I like to throw in a bit of the roasted red pepper and about 2 T of chopped fresh tomato for a hint of color. Add 2 T chilies and start adding cheese. Start with an 8 oz package of shredded Mexican cheese blend. If you want it thicker, add some sharp, Colby, Muenster, or whatever you have on hand. Taste and add anything else you want. Turn off heat. Sauce will thicken more as it cools.
Now, use any kind of tortilla you want, corn, flour, wheat, whatever shape you like. Place about 3/4 cup of the seafood filling on one end. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the cheese sauce over the filling. Start rolling, tucking in the ends as you go. In a glass 10” x 14” baking dish, smear bottom and sides with a little olive oil. Place Chimichangas seam side down. Brush with Tortillas with olive oil. Bake at 375* for 18 – 20 min. Watch carefully. You want them golden brown and slightly crisp, but NOT too dark.
Get a beverage, turn your stereo on and play La Pajarera. Put your feet up, close your eyes and feel the ocean breeze on your face. Don’t fall asleep and burn the Chimichangas!
Plate your Chimichangas, and spoon cheese sauce on top. Garnish with sour cream, guacamole, and/or salsa. You can garnish with a quick dash of paprika. cayenne pepper, sliced green onions and/or chilies.
Serve Pico de Gallo, refried beans, Spanish rice, and/or corn bread. They’re all excellent with Chimichangas.
Gail Westover, a Treasure Lake resident has been cooking most of her life. Hobbies come and go, as we all know, but for nearly 50 years, she has made homemade cooking a priority when it comes to feeding her family. There is nothing she won’t cook, from Braided Danish and Marble Rye Bagels to International foods of all sorts. “When you’ve cooked as many years as I have, nothing will scare you,” Gail says. She admits that she has an extremely hard time following someone else’s recipe and has become a talented recipe developer. We are happy to welcome Chew Wanna Eat? to The Lake News where you will have access to her creations.