There are times when I feel very fortunate to live in South Florida. It’s mid-January, so yes, the weather is definitely a plus this time of year. As I watch stories of black-ice and white out conditions all across the northern tier of states, I can’t help but shake my head as I’m notching down the air-conditioning a few degrees. (Hello, Minnesota family!)
But there are other benefits as well. Here in the tropics, fish abounds. So does crab — both the blue crab variety and those tasty stone crab claws in season now. We have sweet spiny lobsters (ours don’t have the big pincher claws) and oysters from the northern part of the state. And then there’s shrimp. Gorgeous, pink Gulf shrimp — plentiful, plump, juicy!
So when Scott requested tacos last week, I decided to use shrimp for a little change of pace. The nice thing about this is that you don’t have to go all out and buy the extra large or jumbo variety. In fact, you shouldn’t. 24-30 count medium shrimp are the perfect size for tacos.
After shelling and deveining, I give them a light coating of olive oil, cumin, smoked paprika and just a pinch of cayenne, salt and pepper before quickly searing them in a pan.
Then I doused them with a generous amount of chopped garlic, lime zest and lime juice. Another minute or so on the heat and that last minute addition creates a citrusy, garlicky glaze that works beautifully with the briny, straight-from-the-sea shrimp.
The charred salsa verde that I highlighted last week is a must for these beauties. It adds just the right char, spice and heat. Shredded cabbage, fresh cilantro, additional sliced jalapenos, avocado, queso fresco, chopped tomatoes and a squeeze of lime are great additions too.
Tangy Shrimp Tacos
Seafood tacos are always a hit in our house and these garlicky lime shrimp are the perfect stuffing for flour tortillas!
- 1 pound medium shrimp peeled, tail removed, deveined
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 lime zested and juiced
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 8 flour tortillas warm
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1 cup charred salsa verde recipe on this site
- 1 cup queso fresco crumbled
- 1 lime cut into wedges
other (optional) accompaniments
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1/4 cabbage thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeño thinly sliced
- pickled red onions
- tomato salsa
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Place peeled and deveined shrimp in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin and 1 teaspoon oil. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
- Place a pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and let it heat until it's slick, but not quite smoking. Add shrimp to the pan in a single layer and cook until just slightly turning pink, 1-2 minutes. Use a pair of tongs to flip them in the pan and continue cooking an additional minute. Add the garlic, lime zest and lime juice. Cook and stir for an additional minute. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.
- To assemble: place 4-5 shrimp in a warm tortilla, top with additional cilantro, charred salsa verde and crumbled queso fresco. Add other accompaniments if desired. Finish with a squeeze of lime
Serve with a side of yellow rice, or white rice and black beans. (I always top the beans with additional salsa).
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