Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Baja Shrimp Tacos...

These days when I want something tasty AND healthy, I go for tacos. I've made so many different kinds over the years but I can't remember ever making shrimp tacos. No time like the present I guess. So this morning I took out a pound of shrimp from the freezer and let them defrost in the sink all day.

When I go out for Mexican I can usually find fish tacos on the menu. They are typically served with shredded cabbage and a tangy, creamy sauce. I believe this is what's known as Baja style. I wanted my shrimp tacos to reflect these flavors. I added some red cabbage to the mix for color and even made an attempt at a homemade creamy sauce. Rice with beans and green chiles, that my mother-in-law recently made me, rounded off the meal.

Rice With Red Kidney Beans and Green Chiles
  • 2 cups white long grain rice, rinsed and drained well
  • 3 3/4 cups of water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 oz can of fire roasted diced green chiles (liquid and all)
  • 1 cup red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Add all of the ingredients to a medium pot. When it comes to a boil, cover and lower heat to a low simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender. If you notice all the water has absorbed and there is still a bit of cooking time left, take a small taste of the rice. If it tastes done, then it's done.

Baja Shrimp Tacos
 Makes about 6-8 tacos.
  • 1 lb shrimp; 20-25 shrimp; shells removed and deveined; dried well with paper towels
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • small tortillas, corn or flour
  • thinly sliced cabbage (I used red cabbage)
  • pico de gallo or another salsa of your liking
  • creamy sauce- whisk 1 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tbsp lemon  juice and 1/4 tsp hot sauce (like Tapatio or Cholula) together
Heat oil up in a medium sized pan over medium-high heat.

In a bowl, add shrimp, salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands.
Then add the cornstarch and continue to mix until shrimp is evenly coated.

When oil is very hot, add the shrimp and cook about 1 1/2 minutes per side or until just cooked (if your oil is hot enough, they should have a nice golden, crispy crust). Set aside in a bowl.

Now build your tacos.

Warm up your tortillas one at a time in a pan until they just start to brown. Add the pico de gallo, shrimp and cabbage. Then drizzle some creamy sauce on top. Feel free to add whatever toppings you like. Enjoy!