Monday, July 25, 2011

Beat the Heat: Tequila-Lime Shrimp Soft Tacos

First off...I want to thank y’all for all the Happy Birthday wishes last well as the get-well wishes for my sweet Dad!! He’s home resting comfortably, and we’re planning to go home for a visit this weekend to check in on him and visit with our families. As you can see from my big smile, I had a great time celebrating my...ahem..."29th birthday" at Cheesecake Factory. My Lemoncello Cream Torte was so GOOD

We’re native Texans here at Casa Garcia, but we never quite get accustomed to our summers. Have I mentioned that it’s hot in Texas? I thought so. Summers are long and gross-hot here, but this year's been extra-hot...much like the rest of the country. I have no desire to fire up my oven and make my poor a/c work any harder than it has to -- unless I just have to. That means I'm always looking for recipes that are fast to make and get me in and out of the kitchen...but I refuse to sacrifice taste in the process. I found another really great taco recipe in the 300 Best Taco Recipes cookbook I reviewed here a couple of weeks ago: tequila-sauteed shrimp tacos. I’m so excited to share this recipe with y’all!!

One good thing about summer in Texas is the abundance of inexpensive fish and seafood...including Texas Gulf shrimp. I bought a pound of shrimp on sale last Friday to make a slight variation of a tequila shrimp taco that I’ve been eyeing in this great cookbook. I made a few slight variations: I added lime juice to make the flavor profile more like a margarita, and I added a seeded minced serrano pepper for a bit of heat in the background. Rather than the pico de gallo the recipe called for, I made a simple creamy lime sauce from the cookbook to drizzle on the tacos. 

They’re super easy to make and so yummy! The hardest part of making these tacos is peeling the shrimp, but buying easy-peel shrimp or already-peeled shrimp would let you get these tacos on the table in no time! I was able to make six soft tacos using flour tortillas, but corn tortillas should make eight tacos. I couldn’t get my corn tortillas to cooperate...they kept breaking when I folded them, so Plan B was soft flour tortillas. They worked out great! The flavors were fantastic...another winner from this great cookbook!

Tequila-Lime Shrimp Soft Tacos
adapted from 300 Best Taco Recipes

Step 1:  Make the creamy lime sauce by combining 1/4 cup light sour cream, 1/4 cup light mayo, the juice of one small lime, and salt to taste. Whisk well to combine and place in a small bowl or squeeze bottle. Store in the fridge until you're ready to assemble the tacos.

Step 2:  Peel and devein 1 lb. med-large shrimp. Place the peeled shrimp in a bowl of well-salted water for 30 minutes to brine. I learned this trick from Thomas Keller in one his cookbooks -- it gives shrimp a wonderful texture and flavor! 

Step 3:  Add 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 tbs. butter to a non-stick pan over med-high heat. Add 2-3 minced or grated garlic cloves and one finely minced seeded serrano pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes. 

Add 1/3 cup tequila, the juice of one lime, and 1 tsp. sea salt to the pan and stir to combine. Let the mixture cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the drained shrimp. Cook for about five minutes, until the shrimp are pink.

Step 4:  Assemble the tacos. Remove the shrimp from the pan with a slotted delish as the sauce is, the shrimp are only meant to poach in it. Enough sauce will cling to the shrimp to flavor the tacos, but you don't want a dripping mess on your hands! Top each tortilla with about five of the shrimp, diced roma tomato, diced avocado, a sprinkle of jack cheese, some chopped lettuce, and a drizzle of the creamy lime sauce.

These tacos are a sure-fire winner! If you like fish tacos, you’ll enjoy these shrimp tacos as well. With this tequila-lime flavor profile, a margarita and some chips and salsa would be the perfect accompaniments. Be sure to serve wedges of lime on the side of each plate so people can add an extra squeeze of lime if they want to really boost the citrus flavor of these tacos. We really enjoyed the flavor of this pan sauce...I'm thinking this shrimp and sauce would be FANTASTIC with some fettucini for a delicious fusion pasta dish! Maybe next time..


  1. Looks wonderful!!! I'm gonna have to try your lime sauce! Sounds so good! My husband and I are unfortunately both allergic to shellfish though so we'd have to pass on the shrimp. But we could make them with fish though. :)

  2. Looks wonderful!Love tacos... shrimp is a plus. Thanks for a great recipe.

  3. I made this Friday night and my husband and I both thought it was outstanding! I will definitely make again.


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