Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Shrimp Tacos

Two or three times a year I have the good fortune of getting a very good price on fresh trawl-caught Alaska side-stripe shrimp. Although smaller and a little more work to peel than the big juicy spot sprawns, they are delicious - sweet and tender. One of my favorite uses is simply tacos, with a little mexicany cabbage slaw and always whole black beans on the side. I simply add the shrimp to boiling water for a few minutes (just till they float and turn pale color), drain and cool, peel them,  then briefly throw them in a hot cast-iron skillet with some oil and/butter (sometimes saute some onions  with a little garlic first).
My cabbage slaw is simply some shredded cabbage, lime, cilantro, tomato, minced garlic, salt and pepper, and maybe some chili powder like my favorite piquin, but I don't use chipotle or pasilla due to the shrimp's delicate flavor.You can of course add other things like shredded or julienned jicama, radish, carrots, serrano or jalapeno peppers, etc.   Layer shrimp and slaw onto hot or fried (tostada-style) corn tortillas and garnish with cilantro and favorite MEXICAN hot sauce such as Cholula (NOT Tabasco!), and maybe a tad bit of sour cream, or greek yogurt.

Another thing I'll do is make what I call "tostaditas"or simply oven baked tostadas. I'll put tortillas on a sheet pan grate on some cheese, put in oven 400 or so, and bake until they are crispy, just starting to brown. Then top with whatever. You can put them back in the oven with the toppings for an extra blast of heat and caramelization. Try it.