There is nothing I love more than a dinner you can throw together in a moments notice. While I am a planner at heart, there are times I like to live on the wild side and do things at the spur of the moment. Like tonight. Why plan dinner when I can figure it out on the way home. But shhhh…this is my favorite “go to” dinner. Here’s why:
How could you not want to sink your pearly whites into that? Quick and easy shrimp tacos make even the most stressful day seem less tedious and were just what I needed after an entirely too long and too busy week at work. And since there are so many easy steps to this tasty dinner, here are several step by step instructions on how to get your Taco Tuesday on any night of the week.
Salsa. Mmm let’s say it again. Salsa. SALSA! Is there anything tastier than fresh salsa. All those firm juicy tomato chunks, those crisp and sharp onions, clean, tangy cilantro. And of course, my favorite part, spicy peppers. Since salsa’s ingredients are fairly well…obvious (unless you live you know, on the Moon in which case, I’m sorry you don’t know the best topping ever)… I am going to resist listing the ingredients, but I will say, choose your chiles based on your heat tolerance. Do not be like me and choose the hottest pepper you can find. You probably did not have a Grandma who fed you chiles when you started to walk. Repeat: DO NOT think you can handle more heat than you can. Don’t complain when you do, I warned you.
So how do you take tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and chile peppers into delicious salsa. You CHUNK it up baby. Dice up your tomatoes and onions. Mince your cilantro. And mini-dice your chiles. Which reminds me: DO NOT REMOVE THE SEEDS. All those wimps on TV telling you to remove the seeds clearly are well…wimps. Leave the seeds in. If it is too hot for you then just add less of the minced chiles. The seeds offer so much flavor and you don’t want to miss that.
Also, I’m silly and didn’t take a photo of any kosher salt. Please salt your salsa. Your mother will thank you, your father will thank you. I will thank you. How much salt you ask? Here is what I do: sprinkle liberally kosher salt over your entire bowl of salsa. Stir. Taste. You want to make sure you have enough salt to bring out the tastiness of everything, but not too much salt that it tastes salty. Trust me, I have given many friends this recipe. They have never been disappointed.
GUACAMOLLLLLEEEEEE. Sweet Nature, thank you for the delicious delicacy of avocados. And like I said with the salsa, if for some horrible, depressing reason you don’t know what guacamole is here is how I throw down and make it:
Avocados (ripe please)
Garlic Power (not shown, I’m silly)
Kosher Salt (not shown, I was in a rush)
Lime (not shown, because well, it was an afterthought)
And for once I invite you to be like me and set aside some minced cilantro and some diced tomatoes and onions. Or you could make life even easier and just stir in some salsa (but my wimpy mother and sisters hate spicy things, so I set the extras aside.) Oh and….duh…mash your avocados. I am going to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and trust they know how to cut open an avocado and take out the pit. If not, well I will explain that another day.
Mix everything together (note: now would be a good time to invite your kids in the kitchen. Kids love stirring. Trust me). As for the spices, sprinkle well with salt and sprinkle less well with garlic powder. Sorry for being so cryptic. I suck at explaining spices. Also, if you can’t tell, I am making individual portions today. One day I promise to make a gigantic-way too much to be just for me-portion and then I will give actual spice measurements. The key here is you want it nice and seasoned, but not too much garlic. Unless you like that sort of thing.
At this point, please put the salsa and guacamole in the fridge. You want then nice and chilled. It will also clear the counter so you can make what might be my favorite part of fish and shrimp tacos: WHITE SAUCE. Yum.
You will need:
1/4 cup Plain Non-Fat Yogurt (I had Greek yogurt on hand so I went with that)
1 teaspoon Mayonnaise (I like light mayo, my dad likes real, whole fat, mayo. Whatever floats your boat)
Lime Juice (I used I think 2-3 limes)
This might be the easiest thing in the world to make. I made enough for four tacos because well…that is how it turned out. And i wanted to give more exact measurements for this. Here is what you do: put ingredients in bowl. Whisk. Chill. Done.
I said it was easy.
Now. There are many incarnations of fish tacos. My dad beer batters white fish and fries them. I don’t because well…I try to not gorge on fried foods and I love gorging on these tacos. I usually broil my fish in lime juice and spices, but remember, I said this was about fast go-to dinners. So meet my lifesaver:
Let’s just say it now: Thank you Jesus for Trader Joe’s. Ahem.
Cook your fish or shrimp. For instance, I followed the directions on my box. These cook in 14 minutes. You could easily make the guacamole, salsa, and white sauce while the oven heats and while the shrimp cooks. I did this.
Now. I am going to say something that will blow your minds. Here it goes:
Only white people like flour tortillas.
Yup. It’s true. No self-respecting Mexican would ever eat a taco with a flour tortilla. It’s against our culture. *ick* I just got the shivers even thinking about a taco on a flour tortilla. Do yourself favor. Repeat this over and over again: eat. breath. eat corn tortillas. Corn tortillas are your best friends. They will make your life complete.
I cook mine on open flame because well that is how my Grandma did it and I do a lot of things like her. If you don’t have a gas stove, let’s mourn together….feel any better? No? Well, you can always nuke them. How long? I have no idea. Sorry. Experiment and find out.
YUM! I could live off the smell of charring corn tortillas for the rest of my life.
And as if this post wasn’t long already, we are in the home stretch. ASSEMBLY!
Step 1. Put tortilla on a plate (not totally necessary, but let’s pretend to be civilized).
Step 2. Lay out shrimp/fish on the tortilla. Adorn with guacamole and salsa. Remember your portions people. Yes avocados are good for you, but in controlled portions. I use 1 ounce of guacamole per taco. That turns out to be about a rounded tablespoon.
Step 3. White Sauce. This was going on the easy side for me. I ended up adding more.
Step 4. Add some shredded cabbage. There are no pictures for this because I became way too eager to eat and totally forgot. Today I had Napa cabbage, but your everyday green cabbage is a tastier pick. Trust me, I would never lie to you.
Step 5. Lime juice it up people. You won’t regret it.
Step 6. That’s obvious isn’t it.
And for those of you who like lists, keep these things on hand to make one quick, and delicious dinner any night of the week:
Chile Peppers (I personally like Serrano peppers)
Frozen Shrimp/Fish (for a quick easy dinner)
…you can add cheese too. But I don’t. Feel free to add cheese. I won’t look down on you. At all…this time.