DIY Dinner

It used to be a no-brainer to have someone over for dinner. Pick up the phone, ask them over and they either say a) yes or b) no. Now it’s all a bit of a gastronomic minefield. It seems that everyone has some food no-no whether it’s an out-and-out allergy, food intolerance or something that’s verboten on their current lose 10 lbs. in 10 minutes diet.

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Sigh.

It makes planning dinner a bit of a headache. So if it’s a minefield then I’m going military. I meet the enemy head-on with a menu that caters to (just about) every food need/desire/penchant. Basically, I let my guests create their own dinner.

My chile shrimp with corn tortillas is a perfect example. I whip up some green chile marinaded shrimp (it cooks super quick on the BBQ) or you could grill flank steak, chicken or simply lots and lots of roasted vegetables. Even better, serve a couple of choices – why not? Serve it with warm tortillas (look ma no wheat!) and lots and lots of sides. You like cheese? Great toss it on there! Beans your worst enemy? Give ‘em a pass.

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Basically everyone tops their tortilla with what they like and gives the rest a miss. They all feel extraordinarily clever for creating such a masterpiece and it’s easy because you can sort out most of the toppings before they even ring the doorbell. Any leftovers? Sit back on the sofa with some trash TV and roll-up the the extras in a tortilla. And you know what? If you want a wheat tortilla you just go ahead. This time it’s your party.

Green Chile Shrimp with Corn Tortillas and All the Fixings

Serves 4

Substitute beef, chicken, salmon, roasted veg – you name it – for the shrimp. The marinade contains lime juice which starts to ‘cook’ the shrimp so make it a super short marinade – about 15 mins is all you need. I’ve listed a long supply of possible accompaniments but add and subtract as you like!

1 batch Green Chile Sauce
4-8 corn tortillas
1 14.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz can corn nibblets, drained
1 cup shredded or crumbled cheese such as Cheddar, Goat’s cheese or Feta
¾ lb cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved depending on size
1 large or 2 small avocados, peeled and sliced
1 small bunch of radishes, sliced thinly
4-6 spring onions, sliced thinly

Shrimp & marinade
Juice of one lime, freshly squeezed
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp Green Jalapeño powder
1 lb. large shrimp, shelled and deveined

Make the green chile sauce according the instructions on the packet and set aside. Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and place in a warm oven. Place the rest of ingredients in individual serving bowls.

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Mix the lime juice, vegetable oil and green chile powder together in a bowl then add the shrimp and toss to coat. Marinade for the shrimp for about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the BBQ (alternatively you can sauté these in a frying pan). Place the shrimp on skewers and cook for a minute or two, turn and cook for another minute. When cooked through, remove and place the shrimp on a serving platter.

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Take the tortillas out of the oven and place on the table with the other ingredients including the shrimp. Serve the green chile sauce on the side and enjoy!

3 thoughts on “DIY Dinner

  1. My very busy — and extremely talented — wife sent me this post as a well-intentioned hint to self-cater this evening…can’t wait to try it, and I reckon I’ll be able to tackle it successfully. Love the photography, by the way, on this blog.

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