Hold onto Summer with Grilled Shrimp Tacos
September 11, 2017
One week into fall and summer already seems a distant memory. There is a world of difference between pre-and post-Labor Day. Before the weekend, we are mentally in summer mode with many people on vacation wringing the last bit of relaxation out of the ebbing season. Come Tuesday, everything changes and we find ourselves with a lot more to do than lazing by the pool or swinging a golf club. Everything feels more serious, more imperative. These tacos will bring you right back to July, at least for a few bites.
With the hallmarks of the perfect weekday dinner: a small number of ingredients, minimal prep and cooking time, and the added bonus of tasting delicious at room temperature, these tacos won't disrupt your fall schedule. But their bright and refreshing taste is pure summer. My intention was for cooking outdoors, but should the weather not cooperate, cast iron grilling works too.
Adapted from a classic recipe by Steve Raichlen, I've kept his brilliant combination of pineapple and grilled shrimp. I toned down the cumin a little bit and concentrated it’s earthy flavor on the charred shrimp. To cut down on chopping, I substituted cole slaw mix for the shredded cabbage, used whole cilantro leaves, and replaced the jalapeño with hot sauce. Grilling the tortillas really makes a difference here as their toasted corn flavor makes a nice foil for the pineapple and rich avocado. Just be careful not to make them too crisp, or they become stiff. While you may be tempted to use bottled lime juice, only fresh will do.
If you don't eat shrimp or are looking to use some leftovers, cut leftover grilled chicken into cubes, toss with cumin, a little lime juice, some tabasco, and use in place of the shrimp in this recipe.
Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple and Avocado
Adapted from Steve Raichlen
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
11/4lbs. large shrimp (approximately 36)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups cole slaw mix or shredded cabbage(preferably green)
1 avocado, diced medium
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup loosely-packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 scallions, thinly-sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice (approximately 1 lime)
12 6-inch corn tortillas
4 (1/2 inch-thick) slices fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
Tabasco to taste
lime wedges and cilantro sprigs for garnish
Heat a grill to medium high heat. While the grill is heating, in a medium bowl stir together the cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and the shrimp. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, pressing the spices onto the shrimp. Set aside.
Place 2 cups cole slaw mix into a second bowl. Stir in the olive oil, cilantro leaves, scallion, salt and 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Fold in the avocado.
Grill the tortillas for approximately 30 seconds per side to toast lightly, then put them aside. Grill the pineapple until golden with nice grill marks, 3 minutes per side. When the pineapple comes off the grill, cut it into medium dice and fold into the slaw mixture.
Grill the shrimp for 3-5 minutes until just cooked through and charred on the outside. Remove from the grill and top with the remaining lime juice and a generous amount of Tabasco if desired . Fold into cabbage mixture, adjust seasoning, and divide among the tortillas.
Serves 4, generously.