Saturday, June 16, 2012

Crispy Shrimp Tacos and Peach Salsa

For dinner tonight, I turned to the ocean's most reliable and endlessly versatile crustacean - shrimp! I knew seafood would be the meal of choice tonight, and in my search for meal ideas I happened upon a recipe for crispy shrimp tacos. And what a recipe it turned out to be, let me tell you! The shrimp was spicy and crispy, just the way I like it, and topped with a homemade peach salsa, and cilantro, to really seal the deal. I know you want to try them yourself, so here's how to make them.

Adapted from this recipe

Difficulty: Medium
Active Prep Time: About 45 minutes
Special Equipment: Food processor

Shrimp Ingredients:
  • 16 - 32 ounces peeled and de-veined shrimp, tails removed (about 25 medium shrimp)
  • 1¼ cup flour
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne (or more if you like extra spice)
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • canola oil for frying (enough to cover the bottom of a large skillet)
  • additional salt
Peach Salsa Ingredients:
  • 4 peaches, peeled pitted and diced (about 1 - 1½ cups)
  • 1 medium sized red bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup loosley packed cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion 
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Tacos:
  • 10 small flour tortillas
  • peach salsa
  • lettuce
  • additional cilantro

(Begin with the salsa)

1. Simply mix the diced peaches, bell pepper, jalapenos, red onion, cilantro, garlic, and salt in a bowl. I found it quicker and easier to just stuff the ingredients into a food processor, but the dicing, chopping, and mincing can all be done by hand if you don't have one. Cover bowl of salsa with foil or cling wrap and refrigerate until needed.

(Moving on to the shrimp)

2. Rinse the shrimp with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Peel, de-vein, and remove their tails before moving on to the next step, obviously. Set them aside.

3. Mix the flour, salt, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne, crushed red pepper, and black pepper together in a shallow bowl or dish. Beat the 3 eggs together in a separate bowl. Prepare a third plate or baking sheet and set aside. This effectively forms your assembly line.

4. Dredge the shrimp in the flour (shake excess), then the egg wash, then back into the flour and coat as thoroughly as possible. Gently shake the excess off and place on the clean tray. Repeat with remaining shrimp until all are coated with the flour. (Your fingers will likely become coated with sticky batter pretty quickly, so keep a towel handy to wipe them clean every now and then.)

5. In a large skillet, heat oil (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan) over medium high heat. If you have an instant read thermometer, heat to 350° F. Get a tray ready by stacking a few paper towels on it.

6. Cook shrimp in multiple batches, depending on the size of your skillet. You want them to cook in one even layer making sure you don't over-crowd or overlap the shrimp. Cook for roughly 1 ½ to 2 minutes per side. If you're unsure when the shrimp is actually done, cut one in half - it should be opaque and pink/white instead of translucent and blueish. 

7. Place cooked shrimp on the tray lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil and repeat steps 4 and 6 until all shrimp are cooked.

(Assembling the tacos)

8. On each tortilla/taco shell, sprinkle a little shredded lettuce and top with 3 shrimp. Spoon a tablespoon or two of the peach salsa. Top with a sprinkle of cilantro. Serve with fresh lime wedges to squeeze over top, and/our sour cream if desired.

Additional Notes:
  • I recommend assistance if you've got another person around to help out. This is a fairly labor intensive recipe that will be much less hectic to prepare if you've got an assembly line set up and an extra pair of hands to help you manage it.

1 comment:

  1. As a member of Zach's assembly line and a participant in the eating as well, I can tell you that these were absolutely fantastic!! Plus, a few leftover shrimp with the salsa for dipping made a great appetizer for the next evening.