Sami’s Shrimp Tacos

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2012 • all rights reserved

Shrimp and mango tacos . . . a little bit spicy, a little bit sweet . . . and totally wonderful!

Sami Bolton Shreve sent me a note a couple weeks ago, saying to take a look at the recipe she’d just posted on Facebook.  She thought these shrimp tacos were maybe the best thing she’d ever made . . . and she wanted to share them with other TBG readers.

You may remember Sami for her can pantry — one of the neatest boat improvements I’ve seen! That’s Sami in the photo at right — this past winter, while cruising the Abacos in the Bahamas.  What a gorgeous beach and water!

Well, her photo of the tacos certainly convinced me to try making them . . . and they tasted soooooo good.  Yep, a new favorite!

Sami doesn’t have an exact recipe for these — much is “to taste” which is a good way to go when you’re using spicy chile peppers.  And if you don’t have (or don’t like) shrimp, she says they’re also good made with bite-sized bits of fish.  Dave and I love fish tacos and I know I’m going to make them the next time we have a suitable fish.

Mango Salsa:  Combine chopped mangoes, sweet onions, jalapeno, corn (cut off the cob, frozen or canned), lime juice and chili powder.  Adjust amounts to suit your taste — I tend to keep the mangoes at least half of the total volume, usually about two-thirds.  If the mixture can sit for a few hours (or even a day or two), it’s even better.

Cilantro:  Chop a bit of cilantro for garnish and set it aside until you’re ready to put them all together.

Cream sauce: Use creme fraiche if you can get it (crema in Mexico is very similar).  You could substitute sour cream or mayonnaise if necessary, but they’re not as good.  Mix in a little hot sauce (I used Pick-a-Peppa from Jamaica, but choose your own favorite) or a bit of chili powder.

Tortillas:  Sami used corn tortillas, which add a nice flavor (and they’re healthier than flour tortillas, which can be used).  The ones that are about 6″ in diameter are considered “taco size” but you can make larger tacos if that’s all you have.  Toast them briefly — Sami did them under her broiler; I do them in a dry HOT skillet for just a few seconds on each side.  Don’t get them too crunchy or they’ll break when you eat them!

Shrimp:  Have everything else ready before cooking the shrimp.  Shrimp should be shelled, tails off and deveined — you’ll want three or four medium shrimp per taco.  While they look prettier left whole, the tacos are much easier to eat if each shrimp is cut into three or four pieces.  Saute briefly (literally, about one minute if the shrimp are cut in 3 or 4 pieces) with chopped garlic, a couple slices of jalapeno, and a dash of cumin and chili powder.  Don’t overcook or the shrimp will get tough!

Assemble: Just do the following layers, then roll it up to eat:

  1. Toasted tortilla
  2. Cream sauce in a thin layer
  3. Shrimp
  4. Mango salsa
  5. Another drizzling of cream sauce
  6. Cilantro

YUM!

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