Friday, February 10, 2012

Chipotle Shrimp Taco with Avocado Salsa Verde

I have had tacos on the brain lately. In part because I have discovered that delicious soft corn tortillas, grilled for just a minute over a gas flame, can transform the humblest of ingredients into something crave worthy. So every couple of days I start thinking, "What can I put inside of a charred corn tortilla?" And boy are there a lot of choices, but I was on the lookout for something I hadn't tried yet, something with ingredients that my kids would never eat, perfect for lunch but quick enough to not interfere with my other current obsession.

The salsa was quick to blend up in the food processor and the shrimp only took one or two minutes to grill. I did not use the seeds of the jalapeno (I know, I'm a wuss) and it was medium spicy.  I also dialed back the salt to 3/4 tsp. kosher salt with no ill effect. In the 20+ years I have lived in Texas, I have never cooked with a tomatillo. I didn't know what I was missing! It was easy to prep and added a tangy crunch to the salsa. I am going to be looking for more ways to utilize them!

Chipotle Shrimp Taco with Avocado Salsa Verde
(barely adapted from Food Network)

Avocado Salsa:
1 small onion, quartered
1 jalapeno, quartered, seeds optional
1 garlic clove, smashed
4 medium tomatillos, (about 8 ounces) husked, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
1/2 Hass avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chipotle or blended chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound medium shrimp (about 20), peeled and deveined
8 corn tortillas
1/4- 1/3 cup queso fresco, crumbled
8 sprigs cilantro for garnish
2 limes, cut into wedges

Put the onion, jalapeno, and garlic in a food processor and finely chop. Add the tomatillos, avocado, and salt and pulse until chopped but still chunky. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cilantro.
Heat a stovetop or outdoor grill to medium-high. Mix the olive oil, chipotle or chili powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Grill the shrimp until translucent, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side.

Grill tortillas, until slightly charred and pliable, about 20 seconds per side*. (Alternatively, wrap in a damp paper towel and heat in a microwave.) Spoon sauce on the tortilla, then top with about 2 or 3 shrimp, a generous half tablespoon of cheese, and a sprig of cilantro. Serve 2 tacos per person, with a lime wedge on the side.

*I'm very sure that if you do not live in a place where spring starts intermittently in February, that you could cook these shrimp in a hot cast iron skillet and char your tortillas over the gas flame of your stove burner.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! Those look amazing!! I will be trying those next week. Love your blog and tomatillos too. :)