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Grilled Surf 'n Turf Party Nachos with Avocado Cotija Sauce

This seems like a long recipe, but no worries: it's totally doable and is an awesome party appetizer. The pico de gallo and avocado cotija sauce can be made up to a day ahead; marinate the steak and shrimp earlier in the day so everything is ready to go. If making an extra large batch, a paella pan works great!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8
Author Karen Gibson

Ingredients

for the margarita pico de gallo

  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons tequila
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

for the avocado cotija sauce

  • 1/3 cup cubed avocado
  • 1/4 cup sour cream Salvadoran sour cream is excellent
  • 2 tablespoons cotija cheese crumbled (or sub a salty cheese like feta)
  • juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

for the nachos

  • 12 - 16 ounces flank steak 1/2" thick, trimmed of fat and membrane
  • 6 ounces raw shrimp medium, peeled, deveined, tail off
  • olive oil for marinating
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle seasoning blend or chili powder
  • 1 large bag sturdy tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper sliced into rings
  • 2 cups grated quesadilla cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro for garnish

Instructions

for the margarita pico de gallo

  • Gently toss all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl. If possible, let set for an hour or more.

for the avocado cotija sauce

  • Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor (or a tall container to use with an immersion blender) and blend until smooth.

for the nachos

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high and prepare for direct grilling. Clean and oil the grates.
  • Brush both sides of the steak with oil. Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons of the seasoning over both sides and rub.
  • Brush the shrimp with oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the seasoning. Toss to coat all sides with the seasoned oil.
  • Place the steak directly on the grill grates on one side of the grill. Lay a sheet of foil on the other side. Spray with non-stick spray, and add the shrimp in a single layer (or, string the shrimp in skewers and place them directly on the grill grates).
  • Turn each shrimp after 2 to 3 minutes, and grill for 2 minutes more. The shrimp are cooked when plump, completely opaque with pink edges. Remove from heat.
  • Grill the steak on side for 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and grill for 3 minutes more (or until your desired doneness). Remove to a cutting board, cover with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes (keep the grill going). Slice into short, thin strips.
  • In a large fire-proof pan (such as a cast iron skillet or paella pan), layer tortilla chips to completely cover the bottom. Sprinkle about 2/3rds of the quesadilla cheese over the chips. Spoon the steak and shrimp over the chips, distributing them evenly around the pan. Spread the chopped bell pepper and jalapeno rings over the steak and shrimp. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
  • Place the pan back on the grill and heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
  • Remove pan from the grill. If necessary, drain the pico de gallo of excess liquids. Spoon the pico de gallo over the nachos. Spread or dollop the avocado cotija sauce over the nachos. Be generous with the sauce! Garnish with minced cilantro and serve.