Grilled Mango Shrimp and Spinach Wrap

091213-StirItUp

This was a tough one. I mean, I really had a hard time choosing whether to do the mango or the shrimp version of this wrap. I have made both and to me it’s a tossup. The pineapple is a lot easier to grill because it is so much firmer and easier to put on the skewers with the shrimp. The mango chunks are generally smaller and not as even, but the shrimp will help keep it on the skewers.

Anyway, I’m going to make the mango version here, but if you want the pineapple version, substitute the pineapple for the mango and use frozen pineapple concentrate instead of the mango juice. Pineapple is much stronger and tarter than the mango, so you might want to start with half and then taste both the dressing and the marinade and add a little more to taste before using it. You will probably want a little honey, also, where with the mango the juice may make it sweet enough for you already.

This is one of those dishes you can really go to town customizing. I am using mango vinaigrette as the dressing, for pineapple, if that’s the version you are making, put a little drizzle of blue cheese dressing instead of the vinaigrette is outstanding without changing anything else.

You can also get wicked daring and use both fruits, using either marinade. I do advise using the same dressing as the marinade for simplicity, but also because you don’t want too many conflicting flavors. Keep it simple for a more balanced flavor.

I also add a little avocado and I used cilantro, but basil works as a substitute for cilantro and other great additions include sliced roasted red peppers, cucumber, tomato and even a variety of mixed greens. I’m sure you can come up with many other ingredients that will taste great in the wrap, so as always, don’t be afraid to change things up.

This wrap is good with the shrimp and fruit still warm right off the grill or chilled for tomorrow’s lunch, so while you’re making some for dinner, you just might want to cook a few extra skewers and make everyone else around you jealous at lunch. This might look like a lot of directions, but it is quite simple to make … honest. Enjoy.

Grilled Mango Shrimp and Spinach Wrap
For 4 people

Marinade
4 T frozen mango concentrate
¼ mango, pureed
3 T vegetable oil
¼ t sesame oil
¼ C white wine
2 cloves garlic, sliced
¼ t chili paste
¼ bunch of cilantro chopped
1 T honey or to taste (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix well together and place in a gallon plastic bag.

Skewers
16 shrimp
12 chunks of mango from 1½ mangos (1/4 mango for marinade ¼ for dressing)
4 skewers, soaked for at least 30 minutes

Alternate fairly tightly, starting and ending with shrimp to hold the mango on the skewer. Place in the marinade and let soak for 1 to 2 hours, shifting the bag once in a while to be sure to fully marinade the entire skewer. Be sure to rub the grill with a rag with a little oil on it before placing the skewers over the flame. Use tongs to hold the rag to avoid burning your fingers. Grill about 2 minutes and flip over to finish. The shrimp should be white and no longer translucent.

Dressing
¼ mango
3 T mango concentrate
¼ t sesame oil
1 T honey
¼ bunch cilantro
¼ C vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ t chili paste
Salt and pepper to taste

Puree first four items and then slowly add the oil. Stir in the remaining items and adjust to taste.

Wrap
4 large, flour tortillas
6-8 oz. fresh spinach
4 skewers shrimp and mango
1 avocado, cut into small chunks
1/8 C toasted pine nuts or sesame seeds
¼ sliced red onion
¼ bunch cilantro, lightly chopped

Toss the ingredients with a drizzle of dressing and wrap in the tortillas.

Trained under Master Chef Anton Flory at Top Notch Resort in Stowe, Vt., Smitty is a personal chef specializing in dinner parties, cooking classes and special events. For more information and archived copies of Stir it Up, visit chefsmitty.com. Smitty welcomes your questions and comments at [email protected] or (530) 412-3598.

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Chef Smitty
Smitty is a personal chef specializing in dinner parties, cooking classes and special events. Trained under Master Chef Anton Flory at Top Notch Resort in Stowe, Vt., Smitty is known for his creative use of fresh ingredients. Smitty has been teaching skiing at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows for more than 26 years each winter, and spends his summers working for High Sierra Waterski School since 2000. Smitty has been writing his chef column for Tahoe Weekly since 2005.