On Friday nights I like to have something funky and fun for dinner. Sometimes it's Italian, like homemade pizza or pasta, and sometimes it's an old favorite of my children's, tacos. When the kids were young, a big treat for them was the El Paso taco kits that came with everything except the ground beef. That was their idea of a surprise dinner for Mom on Friday nights so she wouldn't have to cook after a week of commuting to work in the city. I have never gotten out of the habit, and now that my daughter commutes to work in Atlanta, I try to have something easy and fun for dinner on Friday nights to celebrate the end of the week.
This past week we had
the best tacos I've had in a long time. They did not come in a kit. We
had shrimp in the fridge and leftover corn from the night before so
assembling this dish was easier than expected. Everything, except the
tortillas, was ready before she came home so all we had to do was mix a
couple of stiff drinks and choose a movie. (The Artist) When we were
ready to eat, and still able to walk, I threw the tortillas on the grill
for a minute or two on each side.
You can substitute chicken or flank steak for the shrimp and use flour or corn tortillas. I used the latter in my efforts to cut back on wheat, but it's up to you. All the flavors complement each other and the end result is a perfectly balanced taco heatwise. For those who may want extra heat or spiciness, serve a bowl of ready made tomato salsa on the side. We get ours in the produce department and it is a fresh tomato salsa. Whatever you do, do not skip the Southwest Cream Sauce. It is the best part of the dish and something you can serve with other things. The recipe is for 8 so adjust accordingly. I did not follow measurements for the two of us. Just mixed and chopped from the seat of my pants...and it was so-o-o-o good!
For the recipe click below:
- 2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoon Mexican or taco seasoning mix
- 16 flour or corn tortillas (I used corn)
- 1 thinly shredded iceberg lettuce or cabbage
- 2 avocado sliced (optional)
- Grilled Corn Salsa
- Southwest Cream Sauce
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Cover and let stand 30 minutes.
- Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (400°) 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until shrimp turn pink.
- Wrap tortillas in foil; grill until warm. OR place on cool side of grill without foil until lightly charred on both sides. (my way)
- Assemble tacos with tortillas, lettuce, and shrimp. Top with Grilled Corn Salsa and serve the Southwest Cream Sauce on the side. Sliced avocado is a treat but not necessary.
Grilled Corn Salsa
- 3 ears corn, shucked
- 4 medium tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lb.), chopped
- 1 medium red onion, diced, (you can substitute green onions)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- salt and black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat a broiler or prepare a charcoal fire and let burn to a gray ash. Place corn on a broiling pan or grill set about 6 inches from heat source. Cook, turning often, until kernels have softened and are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then cut off kernels from each ear (you'll have about 3 cups).
- In a large bowl, combine corn kernels, tomatoes, onions, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce. Add parsley and stir well. Chill until ready to serve.
|The cream sauce leftovers were used a couple of days later in grilled chicken tostadas with Cheddar, lettuce and fresh tomatoes from our garden.|
Southwest Cream Sauce
- 1 (16-oz.) container sour cream
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 1 teaspoon chili powder or taco mix powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Whisk together sour cream; garlic, red onion; chili powder; cumin; ground red pepper; and salt. Whisk in cilantro and lime juice until smooth. Cover and chill until ready to serve.