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I love tacos. Really, really love tacos. I make them a lot, and when I dine out, it's frequently at Mexican restaurants. Tacos are delicious and comforting, and perhaps part of the reason I love them so much is that there is something very Summer-esque about them. I eat them year round, obviously, but a taco, packed with bright, fresh vegetables and grilled-up meats (or in my case, seafood, since I'm a pescitarian) just feels like something you ought to be eating on a beach or patio for maximum effect.
Seeing as a lot of us have been suffering through this Never-Ending Narnia Winter of Doom, I thought I would share one of my personal secrets of cold-weather survival: delicious and incredibly quick-and-easy shrimp tacos. Cook up a batch and hopefully the blustery outdoors won't bother you so much. "Life is always more bearable with a mouthful of taco." I believe Mark Twain said that.
SPICY-LIME SHRIMP TACOS
For three tacos:
- bowl of shrimp marinade (see below)
- 24 frozen cooked shrimp, thawed in a colander under running cold water for two minutes
- 1/2 cup shredded lettuce, iceberg or crisp romaine
- 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 corn tortillas
- 1/2 avocado, cubed
- Sour cream and hot sauce (for tortillas)
- Lime wedges (to squeeze on finished tacos)
- 2 tbsp olive oil or other cooking oil
- 1 tsp hot sauce (more if you prefer spicier)
- juice of half a lime
- dash each cracked black pepper, sea salt and garlic powder
1. While you wait for the shrimp to thaw, rinse the lettuce and tomatoes and chop, then place aside in a small bowl. Halve the avocado and slice three times horizontally and vertically before scooping out the meat, and add the avocado cubes to the lettuce and tomato.
2. Once the shrimp are thawed, drizzle a bit of cooking oil in a large frying pan and heat on medium and then prepare the shrimp marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Drop the shrimp in and toss around so that each shrimp gets an even coating of marinade. Let sit for a few minutes before transferring to the frying pan, drizzling the remaining marinade on top. Turn the pan to high heat.
3. While the shrimp cook, warm the tortillas in the oven on low heat. Toss the shrimp in the pan to ensure they're cooked evenly.
4. When the shrimp appear crispy and start to brown at the edges, remove from heat. Take tortillas from the oven and assemble on plate. Spoon a little bit of sour cream and drizzle a bit of hot sauce down the centre of each tortilla. Top with the lettuce, tomato and avocado, then the shrimp (8 for each taco, they tend to shrink in the cooking process). Add a squeeze of lime juice if you like, it's delicious.
The whole process takes under 15 minutes and the resulting meal is delicious. Try it out and tell me what you think. I would make more but I ran out of tortillas.