What You’ll Be Eating This Cinco de Mayo Week continues with some tacos, some crazy good crema, and some truth talk: tell me true – do you ever find yourself becoming that person???
That person who insists on humming along with the radio throughout an entire 8 hour road trip?
That person who puts empty milk and juice cartons back into the fridge?
That person with that habit you swore you’d never, ever, ever, never -not EVER- be like?
Don’t forget, this is truth talk time…
I can remember back before I moved to Arizona listening to people prattle on about avocados:
‘Oh, those avocados, they’re just the best!’
‘Did you hear that avocados are fantastic for your hair?’
‘I read that avocados are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin PERFECT!’
‘I was too busy to do my laundry yesterday so I just smeared some avocado all over my washing machine and two hours later my entire wardrobe was clean, pressed, folded and stacked in my closet!’
I just couldn’t relate and I just couldn’t figure it out.
After moving to the southwest I began seeing avocados everywhere and decided to give them an honest try. Plus I needed some help getting the laundry done.
I started bringing avocados home whenever I could, working them into breakfast, then lunch, and soon even dinner. Sweet, savory, it really didn’t matter, after a while I was looking for excuses to eat avocados.
Aaaaaaaand I had become that person. That person prattling on about avocados.
C’est la vie. It’s the circle of life. And if you like then you better put a ring on it. So I guess this is me putting a ring on avocados.
To come back to the point at hand, we’re serving these delicious Grilled Shrimp Tacos for Cinco this year, but I would be a liar with my pants ablaze if I didn’t admit that they fully came into being as nothing more than a vehicle for this Coconut Avocado Crema. This crema that is the magical combination of fresh avocado flesh, sweet coconut milk, one slightly smoked roasted pepper and just a hint of tart lime.
I love you Grilled Shrimp Tacos, I really do. But this Coconut Avocado Crema has stolen my heart and returns it for just long enough to get a load of whites done. We’re a match made in avocado heaven.
Grilled Shrimp Tacos + Coconut Avocado Crema
For the crema:
6 large cloves garlic
2 large avocados, peeled, pitted
1 tbsp. lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, stemmed
1- 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
salt to taste
For the tacos:
1 lb. 13-16 count shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 jalapeños, roasted, peeled, stemmed
3/4 c. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 c. lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare the crema, toss the garlic cloves together with a dash of olive oil and a pinch of salt on a sheet of tin foil. Wrap the cloves and seasoned oil together and roast for 30-45 minutes or until the cloves are tender, golden, and extremely fragrant. Remove cloves to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the avocado flesh, lime juice, and bell pepper and process to a paste. Add the coconut milk and process until uniform. Season with salt to taste and remove to glass jars for serving/storage.
To prepare the shrimp tacos, place the shrimp in a large bowl. Process the jalapeños in a food processor fitted with a steel blade until pulverized. Add the lemon juice, lime juice, oil, and salt and process until uniform. Pour the marinade over the shrimp and set aside to soak for just 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat your grill to medium. (Note that you may opt to skewer your shrimp or grill them individually. The cooking times are the same either way, just be sure to soak your skewers if they are wooden in advance of loading them up with shrimp.) After 30 minutes of marinating, place the shrimp on your preheated grill and cook for just 2-3 minutes per side or until opaque.
To assemble your tacos, warm your tortillas and top with cooked shrimp. Finish liberally with crema and serve immediately.
YIELD: serves two hungry people (note that this crema recipe yields approximately 3 1/4 – 3 1/2 cups)