Friday, February 19, 2010

Shrimp Tacos

Every cook has a few easy, reliable and quick meals that they fall back on.  This is one of mine.  Fish and shrimp tacos are one of my favorite dishes, both to eat and to make.  During the summer I make tacos regularly, because they just strike me as the perfect summertime meal with a couple of nice cold beers and some chips and guacamole, or chips and salsa.  Somehow spicy Mexican and summer just seem to go hand-in-hand for me.  But after a week of feasting only on Asian-inspired dishes and in anticipation of some fairly heavy, meaty meals this week, shrimp tacos seemed like the perfect simple foil for the richness of Dinosaur BBQ this evening, and a bacon-centric cooking class we took last night.
I marinate my shrimp for my tacos in a blend of chili powders, cayenne pepper, lime zest, garlic, cinnamon (just a touch for a hint of cinnamon sweetness and aroma), and cumin for smokiness.  Then you have the fattiness of the guacamole with the bite of red onion and jalapeno, and the brightness of the cilantro and the spritz of fresh lime juice.  Delicious - even in winter time.

Recipe after the jump!

Shrimp Tacos

3/4 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
3 garlic cloves, grated
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder (I used a blend of ancho and chipotle chili powder)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
4 flour tortillas (soft taco size)
2 cups homemade guacamole, recipe below (store bought is fine if you can't make your own, but you might want to tweak your seasonings a little)

Combine oil, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, lime zest, s&p in a non-reactive shallow baking dish.  Stir to mix.  Add shrimp to marinade.  Toss in marinade to coat shrimp evenly.  Cover and marinate in refrigerator for at least one hour, tossing shrimp at least once, or marinate at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat.  Once the pan is hot, add the shrimp.  Cook shrimp, stirring occasionally, until just opaque, 2-3 minutes.  Do not overcook or the shrimp will become rubbery.  Meanwhile, heat tortillas according to package instructions in a dry saute pan.  

Serve tortillas topped with shrimp, guacamole, cilantro, and lime wedges.  Other optional garnishes include pickled jalapenos, minced red onion, sour cream, and salsa.

Homemade Guacamole

3 avocados, halved and pits removed
1/3 cup red onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 large japaneno, minced (I left the seeds and membrane in, but you can remove it if you don't want the heat)
1/2 cup cilantro, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp fresh lime juice

Combine ingredients together in a large bowl.  Using a fork, mix ingredients together, lightly mashing the avocado.  I prefer my guacamole chunky, but if you like your guacamole to be a smoother consistency, continue stirring until guacamole reaches desired consistency.  Add additional salt and lime juice to taste, if desired.  Serve immediately, or allow to sit at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the meal so the flavors can combine.

No comments:

Post a Comment