Sunday, August 14, 2011

Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Crema, Pico de gallo

Shrimp is the new black.  Shrimp scores well in many categories- they are tasty, healthy, quick, easy, and when you buy smart- affordable.  Thinking about what's for dinner on a summer weeknight?  Shrimp.  Even if you have to defrost some frozen shrimps for a bit in water, any dish can be thrown together quite quickly, like these soft-shell tacos.  These crustaceans are simple on the grill, cook quickly over high heat until opaque, no longer pink.  Hot and quick, no chance to overcook  these delicious little guys.  No one wants to chew rubber. 

Classic summertime flavors here- shrimp, lemon, cilantro, fresh tomato salsa, crisp lettuce.  You may of course substitute for whatever you like or have on hand.  To season the shrimp, I used this spice blend from my favorite spice merchant.  A similar lemon pepper or just flake salt and freshly cracked black pepper will do, or Old Bay or Emeril's essence would be proper if you want that paprika hit.  Again, throw together what you want, it's gonna be good. 

Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Crema, Pico de gallo
four servings

1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
shrimp seasoning/lemon pepper
1 C lettuce, chopped
1/4 C sour cream
1 TB cilantro, chopped
8 flour tortillas, warmed
1 roma tomato, seeded, diced
1 TB diced red onion
1/2 small jalapeno, minced
1 ts fresh lemon juice
2 ts EVOO

In a small bowl, combine the chopped cilantro and sour cream, season with a touch of S&P.  In another small bowl add the tomato, onion, jalapeno, lemon juice and oil, season with a pinch of S&P, mix well.   Set both bowls aside. 

Fire up your grill to just under full steam, between medium-high and high.  Coat the shrimp with oil to prevent sticking and grill for about 3 minutes on each side, until just cooked through.  Remove from heat and let sit for a couple minutes.  You could also saute in a grill pan or skillet for the same amount of time, if your outdoor grill is broken.

Warm up the tortillas, layer on some cilantro mayo, add 5-6 shrimp per taco, then top with the Pico de gallo and (lots of) lettuce.  You wanna add some cheese or anything else? I won't be offended, it's your meal.  A shot of hot sauce? Lovely! Enjoy while out of doors, sipping on a fresh beer, such as this summer quaffer

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