September 3, 2006

Toasted Garlic Shrimp Tacos

Toasted Garlic Shrimp Tacos
from FoodieNYC (link)

1 lb large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 large cloves garlic
1 bunch mint
1 lime
1 lemon
1 bunch chives (white or red onion instead is great)
2 handfuls or 1 bag washed arugula
3-4 large heirloom or vine ripened tomatoes
1 jalapeno pepper
1 package small corn tortillas (flour OK)

Make the Salsa

Chop the tomatoes into small bite sized pieces. If you want to be fancy, remove the seeds and inner core. Toss into a bowl. Add any leftover juices from the cutting board. Chop chives or onions into a very small dice (about two tablespoons)into a bowl. Finely chop about 1 teaspoon of jalapeno pepper (1/4 of a pepper)and add to bowl. Leave in seeds and inner white membrane if you like it spicy, otherwise remove them. Squeeze 1/2 of a lime and 1/2 of a lemon into bowl and add a 1 sec glug of olive oil to bowl. Add about 1 tablespoon of finely chopped mint. Season everything with salt and pepper. Mix well and taste. Need more onion? Mint? Salt? Adjust to taste. This simple salsa is best covered and refrigerated for at least a half hour or up to 24 hours to let flavors marinate.

Make the Shrimp

Peel and finely chop 3 garlic cloves. Finely chop about 1 tablespoon mint. Take out your peeled and de-veined shrimp (also remove tails at this point or you'll need to do it later, either way OK) and place them on paper towels. Pat both sides until as dry as possible. This is important in order to obtain slightly browned shrimp that adds lots of flavor to the dish. Season both side of shrimp with salt and pepper. Place one glug of olive oil in a sturdy pan on medium high heat. Wait until the olive oil is very hot, to the point that it just barely begins to smoke. Add all of the garlic and immediately after add the shrimp carefully to the pan to avoid splatter. Add the mint right on top of the shrimp. The key here is not to flip the shrimp for about 3 minutes. Flip the shrimp and squeeze lemon on them and turn off the heat. The shrimp is almost done - the heat in pan will continue to cook them. Set aside onto a cutting board after 1 minute or so, along with all of the garlic and mint and some of the olive oil. After cooling for a minute, chop your shrimp into bite size pieces and reserve.

Notes: Somehow I left the jalapeno off my shopping list, so I tossed in a few red pepper flakes for some kick, but I doubt this was as spicy as it was intended. And, I also served it as a wrap, instead of in toasted tortillas (yes, flour ones - sigh) for expediency. Plus I added a dollop of sour cream in each assembly (shrimp, salsa, arugula). A nicely balanced taste between the different flavors. I think these came out really well, and I applaud the crafter of the original recipe.

Posted by Jennifer at September 3, 2006 2:17 PM | TrackBack

When I tasted the salsa by itself I thought it was far too tart, and that when it was eaten with the bitter arugala, the combined flavor would just be overwhelmingly strong.

I was wrong.

Instead, all of the various flavors blended pretty nicely, with the mildness of the sour cream taking some of the edge off. Though it certainly isn't a mild dish, it's darned good, and I look forward to having it again someday.

Posted by: Michael at September 11, 2006 7:28 PM
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