Monday, September 5, 2011

Chipotle-Lime Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Salsa and Mexican Corn

One of the things I miss the most in Los Angeles is the amazing Tex-Mex from Texas. As a result, I've made sure to eat as much of it as possible while I'm in town. The other day I went out to Mexican food with one of my friends and had a huge craving for shrimp tacos. Unfortunately, the restaurant seemed to be a little bit on the sketchy side, so I decided to spare myself the possible food poisoning and made my own that night for dinner.

Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Salsa
Modified from Food Network
Servings: 2
Time: 20 minutes

The not quite guac salsa!
1/4 cup onion, chopped
5 tomatillos, husked and chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped, half seeded
1 garlic clove, smashed
Juice of half of a lime
1/2 avocado, chopped
1 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp salt
10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbsp butter
Juice of half a lime
Corn tortillas
Cilantro for garnish

  1. Put the onion, jalapeno and garlic in a blender or food processor and finely chop. Add in the tomatillos, avocado, salt and lime juice and pulse until liquidy but still chunky. You may have to add a little water or broth to help it blend. Set aside.
  2. Mix the olive oil, chipotle, salt and lime juice in a plastic bag. Throw in the shrimp and coat.
  3. Sauté the shrimp in butter over medium heat until they turn orange and turn in on themselves (about 2-3 minutes per side). 
  4. Heat the tortillas over medium heat until they become more pliable but not burnt (about 1 minute per side).
  5. Put 2-3 shrimp per taco. Top with salsa and garnish with cilantro.

The chipotle lime shrimp taste incredible and would work just on their own. Be careful with the chipotle powder because it can overwhelm food, and make sure to add the lime juice because it gives some much needed acidity. The avocado salsa, on the other hand needs a little work. It might just be because I had to add a little bit of water to get it to blend, but it came out somewhat bland. In the end, I wish I had just made guacamole to put on it. 

Mexican Corn
Servings: 4
Time: 10 minutes

1 can of corn
4 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp butter
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 tsp salt
Juice of half a lime

  1. Combine the ingredients in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Once the cheese and butter melt, mix well and serve.

My favorite quick Mexican place in Houston is 100% Taquitos. You order from a charming fake little taco stand in the restaurant. In the center of the restaurant they have a weird cab filled with an extra creepy fake driver that can definitely detract from your eating pleasure, so it's best to keep focused on your food. Luckily all of their food is delicious (especially the chicken mole quesadillas), so it's easy to forgive them for the cab. They also make the perfect chip dipping appetizer with their Mexican corn, so I tried to emulate it here. The jalapeno adds a nice bite, but the cream cheese keeps it from getting out of control. This works great as either a side or salsa, but I found it worked best as a topping for my tacos.

Seriously just stare at your food and ignore the creepy cab. At least the driver isn't a clown.
The meal successfully helped satisfy my craving for shrimp tacos and once again proved to me that you can never have too much Mexican food in one day.

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