In my singledom, I’ve become a bit fanatical about my TV shows. This becomes borderline pathetic when one of those shows includes The Voice. In fact, I think studies have shown that sitting on the couch and watching both Monday AND Tuesday night of The Voice (even if you’re also hard at work pinning, photo editing, and doing other bloggy things) is one of the 5 signs of clinical depression. So it’s always a relief when not one, but two of my favorite shows inspires similar levels of obsession with my close friends, not to mention, the world.
Since Mad Men and Game of Thrones came back on a few weeks ago, I’ve been hosting Sunday TV night at my house. This is a very ambitious endeavor if your Saturdays are as work and fun filled as mine seem to be these days. (Who said I was actually depressed?). But the mid-hangover cooking and post-11pm cleaning always end up being worth it for all the nerdy wildling side commentary and collective swoons when Don Draper undresses the doctor’s wife.
A few weeks ago, I was testing an asparagus-radish leaf pesto for my CBS Earth Day segment. I had made a gluten-free pasta dish for the premiere of GOT, and in order to avoid inflicting gluten-free pasta on my friends for a second week in a row, I decided to use it, along with the residual veggies, as part of a spring-y taco spread.
There was absolutely nothing Mexican about the ingredients that went into these tacos. I didn’t even make the effort to add a dash of cayenne or cumin to the pesto. But with a little dollop of sour cream and shrimp spiked with a bit of hot sauce, they seemed to work perfectly. You can of course find ways to further Mexify this meal, especially if you’re making the tacos for Cinco de Mayo. For the pesto, try adding a little bit of lime juice instead of the lemon, and cilantro instead of mint. But I wouldn’t be sharing the recipe with you today, if I didn’t think it was absolutely delicious in the most unexpected of ways.
Now that I’m free of wedding weekends for a bit, I’ll be making up for lost time with my GOF/Mad Men screening nights. Stay tuned for more concoctions to come from them.
Are there any shows you’re wild about? Any themed dinners you’ve made for them? Share your guilty pleasures in the comments!
Spring Tacos with Shrimp and Asparagus-Radish Leaf Pesto
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Toss the shrimp together with the chile powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Arrange in an even layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, until the shrimp are pink and curled. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Tie the asparagus in a bundle with kitchen twine. Blanche the asparagus for a few minutes, until just tender. Remove with tongs to an ice bath or a colander under cold running water.
Cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Add the pieces from the bottom third of the stalks to a small food processor (about 1 cup). Pulse the asparagus along with 1 cup tightly packed cleaned radish leaves, mint, garlic, lemon juice, ¼ cup of the pepitas, and 1/4 cup olive oil.
Scrub the radishes clean and quarter them lengthwise. Toss together with the vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small mixing bowl. Toss every 10 minutes or so.
Serve the tacos family style: warmed corn tortillas alongside the shrimp, asparagus pesto, pickled radishes, and chopped asparagus. Garnish with queso fresco and hot sauce, if using.