Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spicy Shrimp Street Tacos

Spicy Shrimp Street Tacos Recipe

Happy St. Patrick's Day. I have resisted posting a holiday recipe this week given the deluge of Irish recipes that have surely popped up on your computer screen. Instead, I am following a year round food craving: street tacos. If you use your imagine, maybe you can view the cilantro on the tacos as mini shamrocks. 

Street food.  It's nothing new. What would a walk in Manhattan be without grabbing a bagel or hot dog from a curbside cart? A morning in LA without getting in line for Huevos Rancheros from a roach coach or joining a night time queue for Korean BBQ from a food truck? Or a trip to Mexico, if you are adventuresome, without ordering a venerable street taco from a sidewalk vendor? 

Street tacos - sigh. They are quite different than those commonly served in the US, loaded which several ingredients. Street tacos are simple, clean eating.  Grilled protein and a fresh corn tortilla dressed with fresh chopped onion and cilantro.  Hot sauce optional. This is a celebration of fresh ingredients and skilled seasoning.

I make these spicy shrimp tacos all the time and they are modeled after the street tacos I have had over the years in Mexico.  My version has a roux-like spice mixture that I thin out with a touch of vegetable broth, tomato paste and chipotle peppers in adobo.  This coats the shrimp to create a moist, flavorful taco that can be picked up and eaten neatly - a taco that you wouldn't dare spoil with hot sauce {which is saying a lot because we are a hot sauce couple}. Until now, I have never prepared these tacos using measured ingredients. But armed with a pen and paper, measuring spoons and a clock I am excited to pass this recipe along to you.  So easy, healthy and delicious. This recipe makes 4 tacos but you can double or triple it. 

Spicy Shrimp Street Tacos

7 oz  + 1/4 oz  deveined jumbo shrimp or prawns, tails on
2 T olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t chili powder
1 generous t of fresh minced garlic
1 T vegetable broth
chipotle pepper in adobo sauce {1 large pepper + 1 T of sauce}
3/4 T tomato paste
1/4 c diced sweet yellow onion
1/4 c cilantro leaves
4 fresh corn tortillas {5" size}

Remove the tails and shells from the shrimp.  Cut shrimp into large, bite size pieces, in halves or thirds, depending on the size of shrimp. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 T of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Swirl to coat the pan and add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes. Turn over and cook for another minute or two until the shrimp are pink and the centers are no longer transparent. Transfer shrimp to a plate and cover to keep warm..

In the same skillet, heat remaining 1 T of olive oil over medium heat. Swirl to coat the pan and add in coriander, chili powder, 1/2 t salt and 1/2 t pepper. Stir and then let simmer for 2 minutes, until the spices become fragrant and slightly darker in color. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add vegetable broth and simmer for 30 seconds. Add adobo sauce and chipotle pepper, using the edge of a spoon or spatula to break the pepper into small pieces. Add tomato paste and shrimp and stir. Remove from heat and cover skillet.

Heat the tortillas in the microwave {if they are the least bit dry, heat them between to two slightly damp paper towels}. Divide shrimp among warm tortillas and top with onion and cilantro. 

Makes 4 tacos {serves two with a side of rice or beans}

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Source: Jill Crusenberry

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