Tuesday, July 16, 2013

spicy shrimp tacos with pineapple-avocado salsa

Once upon a time (a few weekends ago), I visited my bffl (that is, my "best friend for life") in Chicago.

Annnnnd, she took me to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, which was amazing.  You can count on my figuring out how to plant my vegetable garden in a chevron pattern next year.  Well, you can at least count on the fact that I'll try to achieve a chevron vegetable garden.

While wandering about the gardens, we stopped by this little cooking demonstration, where they were demonstrating how to make... you guessed it... shrimp tacos with avocado pico de gallo.

I don't often make shrimp because my tiny house will smell like shrimp for days on end when I do, but I knew I had to make a special exception to recreate those tacos.  Oh, and I sat out on my side porch and peeled my shrimp into a plastic shopping bag so I didn't get stuck feeling like I was sleeping with the fishes (my bedroom is continuous with my kitchen).  Shrimp smell or no, these tacos, which I cobbled together from several recipes, are so good.  I made mine extra spicy (see recipe), but you can just add a little cayenne and tone it down if you want.  Not that you probably want to, of course.  : )

 spicy shrimp tacos with pineapple-avocado salsa
Makes about 2 to 3 servings (about 5 to 6 tacos).

~ 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
olive oil
bbq spice rub (ingredient list below)
pineapple-avocado salsa
shredded lettuce
queso fresco, crumbled
sour cream (optional)
1 lime, sliced into wedges
about 6 to 8 small flour tortillas (fajita-sized)

bbq spice rub
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
¼ teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ tablespoon kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
up to ¼ teaspoons cayenne pepper (¼ teaspoon for really spicy; try out ⅛ teaspoon or just a pinch for less spicy shrimp)

pineapple-avocado salsa
8 ounce can of pineapple chunks, drained
1 avocado, cubed
2 small Roma tomatoes or 1 large tomato, diced (you can just eyeball to see how much tomato you want in your salsa)
1 teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped

  1. Make the bbq spice rub:  In a small bowl, combine all of the listed spices (brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, nutmeg, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper).  Stir until well-combined.
  2. Make the salsa:  In a medium bowl, combine the pineapple chunks, avocado, and cilantro.  Stir to combine.  Set aside until you serve the shrimp.
  3. Make the shrimp:  In a large bowl, combine cleaned shrimp with a drizzle of olive oil (probably about 1 tablespoon) and the spice rub.  Stir to evenly coat the shrimp.  Heat grill to medium-high heat.  Place shrimp on skewers, and grill over medium high-heat.  Cook shrimp about 4 minutes per side.  Remove from grill when no longer translucent.  When cool enough to handle, chop shrimp for tacos (optional step).
  4. Assemble the tacos:  Load tacos with shrimp, salsa, lettuce, queso fresco, and sour cream.  Squeeze a wedge of lime over assembled tacos.  Serve hot.
Adapted from Everyday Southwest and Smitten Kitchen.

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