1.12.2011

Baja Style Shrimp Tacos

Close-up of shrimp nuggets


I have to apologize for the lack of pictures. When I'm cooking and eating I forget and the lighting in my friend's modern kitchen is not the best!

I vow to make these again soon and get some better photos. Send me one of yours please!

What I liked about these was how light they were because they are just coated in flour vs. dipped in batter. Shrimp is also more consistent and easier to choose and use vs. 'fish' which is a pretty large recipe variable in general.

I like to use ROCK SHRIMP because they come cleaned in E-Z bite size portions. But they are a little hard to find. Instead I got some reg. Mexican shrimp. You have to clean and butterfly which is a pain, but worth it.

Remove shells, make a small slit down the front and back and pull out the weird veiny stuff. Cut off tail fin piece and then cut shrimp in half. In three pieces if they are super big. Rinse and drain to make sure you get off all the ickies.

Makes enough for 4 peeps.

Flour-Coated Shrimp Tacos

1lb of RAW shrimp (cleaned, butterflied and chopped and patted dry)
1/2 head of Green Cabbage (sliced thinly into strips)
Flour or Corn Tortillas (or both) Just get fresh ones!
Jar of Mexican Crema (if you can't find add one cup of milk to one cup of sour cream and blend until pourable) NO MAYO PLEASE
1 carton of Buttermilk (freeze the remains for next time)
3/4 cup of flour
1 tsp. of paprika
1 tsp. of cumin
1 tsp. of chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. of dried oregano
1 tsp. of sea salt
1 tsp. of ground blk pepper (pinch more if you love pepper)

If you want to get really fancy you can add a teaspoon of micro finely chopped cilantro to add some green flecks to the crema.

Salsa - buy your fav. make your own. Pico de Gallo is traditional, but here is a fun fruity one below.

After you clean the shrimp (ugh) place in a bowl and crack a little salt and pepper over it. Add 1 cup of buttermilk. It should cover the shrimp. Stir it about and let sit for at least one hour.

Mix dry ingredients into a wide, flat bowl or a plate with a lip.

Heat vegetable or corn oil in a skillet. Add a pinch of salt to the oil to keep it from spattering.

The shrimp will cook so fast, I recommend heating your tortillas first. I like to do one by one in a pan with some PAM spray. You can even make a crispy corn shell this way. Or you can wrap in foil and heat in the oven.

When oil is hot, with a large spoon remove the shrimp from the buttermilk and dredge in the flour. You can use your fingers to roll the pieces around. Make sure each piece is coated and then put it in the pan.

It's about 1 minute per side and that is it. Once brown, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Put about 5 bite-sized pieces of shrimp into each tortilla. Sprinkle with cabbage and let your guest add their own salsa and crema.

Serve with a cold Mexican beer.

APPLE MANGO SALSA

1 crispy apple peeled and chopped (use gala or fiji or braeburn)
1/2 a firm mango (chopped) lots of stores sell pre-sliced mango - just don't get a mushy one (about 2 tbl)
1 serrano chili (carefully sliced into thin rings) wash your hands after and your knife
1 firm but ripe avocado (chopped into small square pieces)
1/2 red onion (finely chopped)
1 heaping handful of cilantro (chopped)
juice of one juicy lime (may need half a lime more...)
1 Tbl. rice vinegar
1 tsp. of salt (add more to taste)
a few cracks of black pepper

MIX all together about 10 minutes before frying your shrimp. The lime will keep things from browning but the fresher the better. You could also substitute pineapple for mango. Get super fancy and add 1 tbl. of pomegranate seeds (Trader Joe's has) just for fun.

This crema is a good one!


SIDE NOTE - For a thicker more traditional batter, use the same spices but use 1 cup of flour to 1 cup of beer. Use darker beer for fun or lighter beer for a more traditional batter. You'll need more oil in the pan too, about an inch.

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