I can still remember the first time I had peel ‘n eat shrimp. We’d gone to some friends’ house back in the 80’s for dinner. There in the middle of the table was a giant bowl of pink shrimp just waiting to have their shells deftly removed, all while sucking the briny juice from the removed tail piece. We proceeded to dunk the sweet chunks into garlicky butter until the entire bowl had been devoured.
I’m no less star struck today with these salt-water dwellers than I was on that serendipitous evening. I love peeling and eating and dipping them; my fingers covered in a mix of ocean and butter.
Another food revelation occurred on a trip to Laguna Beach, also back in the day. We stumbled onto Wahoo’s, a joint that dishes up assorted tacos, burritos and bowls. What made Wahoo’s such an eye-opener for me was fish tacos. Today, these are pretty ubiquitous, but for a girl who was used to ground meat tacos with wilted lettuce in them (the way my Grandma learned while living in California), this was pretty amazing stuff!
Two fishy stories now meld together for dinner. If the weather permits, I hope you’ll grill the shrimp outside as you get one more flavor – the smokiness. If not, a grill pan is brilliant.
Pan-Grilled Fish Tacos
Makes 6 generous tacos
- 1 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, (16 – 18 count)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon green chile powder (I like Savory Spice’s Mole Verde blend)
- 1 clove minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- ½ dozen corn tortillas
- Green salsa (Look for Trader Joe’s Hatch Valley Salsa)
- 2 limes cut into chunks
- Mix together the olive oil, lime juice, green chile powder, garlic and black pepper. Stir in the shrimp and let marinate for about 10 minutes.
- Heat a grill pan (or large skillet, outdoor grill) on medium high.
- Sear the shrimp in the pan until pearl-pink, 4 to 5 minutes
- Warm the tortillas, wrapped in foil, or my favorite, toast over a low gas flame on the stove.
- To serve divide the shredded cabbage among the tortillas, top with three to five shrimp, cilantro and green chile. Finish with a generous squeeze of lime.
Happy eating, my friends –