Grilled Shrimp Tacos

>> Friday, December 30, 2011

My sweet mother-in-law bought me five (5!) new cookbooks for Christmas this year and I've had such fun pouring through them ogling all the wonderful new recipes I have at my fingertips. My sweet mother (and father) bought me the new Amazon Kindle Fire for Christmas and I have been downloading new books like crazy, but I know that I'll never trade in my cookbooks. When it comes to cookbooks, I want the tangible copy versus its online companion. Besides, I hate when I'm cooking from an online recipe and my computer (or Kindle) goes to sleep and I have to 'wake' it back up to see the next steps of the recipe. Nothing like raw meat juice sluiced across the keyboard...

Anyway, this next recipe is from one of my new cookbooks that Ruthie gave me - The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2012. This cookbook is excellent! If you're unfamiliar with ATK, the chefs set out to master a recipe, making it in a multitude of different ways until they find the very best recipe. I love that they're doing all the hard work for me! And I have to say that this recipe for shrimp tacos was awesome! After dining out so much and eating all the rich holiday food, Andrew and I were ready for some lighter and healthier fare. The grilled shrimp tacos, paired with chips and queso, made for great football munchies to eat while we watched the Holiday Bowl. Go Horns!

This recipe came together fairly quickly, but if you're looking for a shortcut, make sure to buy already peeled and deveined shrimp from the seafood counter to save time. Also, if you can't find jicama in your grocery store, I think you could substitute a peeled tart green apple. While it wouldn't have the same taste, it would give the salsa a nice crunch and compliment the sweetness of the pineapple.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple-Jicama Salsa
adapted from The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2012

Good quality store-bought (or homemade) guacamole
3 tablespoons lime juice (2 limes)
10 oz jicama, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 cups pineapple, measured and then cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 small shallot, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chile powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 lb. small to medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Combine 2 tablespoons more lime juice, jicama, pineapple, cilantro, jalapeno and shallot in a bowl. Season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat oil in 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to medium bowl and let cool to room temperature, then stir in remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Add your shrimp to spice mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, covered for 15 minutes. Don't marinate shrimp for longer than 15 minutes because the citric acid will start to 'cook' the shrimp and turn them rubbery!

Meanwhile, heat an indoor grill pan to medium-high heat. Place tortillas on grill pan, flipping once, to heat through. Remove them to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Place shrimp on grill pan and cook, flipping once, until they turn opaque, about 2-4 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm until all shrimp are cooked.

To serve, place 4-5 shrimp in each tortilla, top with a dollop of guacamole mixture and a dollop of pineapple salsa.


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