My boys love tacos, so do I… especially shrimp tacos. Tell me you love tacos, if you do you’re gonna LOVE this! My take is with apricots and a mean avocado cream sauce I call crema just to make it sound fancy.
Going out for some tacos at our local Mexican place is not so easy when allergies are involved — too many risks of contamination with all the flour and cheese lying around so I make them at home and let me tell you they are easy to make with just some prep work for the toppings. Even if you can eat all the gluten, and dairy with no problem you will still want to
shovel eat this right up.
Have you experienced contamination issues? Or speaking to the manager about allergies then to find that what you ordered has some dairy or gluten in it (or soy, nuts or any other allergen to you)? It sucks.
We recently had an issue like this; we decided to try a new Mexican restaurant one Saturday night after finding out they have a gluten free menu – after the whole allergy discussion – sit down to eat and towards the end of our meal Michael (the older twin) starts throwing up across the table, yes, directly on the table (!) while my teenager is in the bathroom with severe stomach pain. It was a disaster. We find out that their salads were tossed with the gluten AND dairy dressing instead of the gluten free vinaigrette. It was a nightmare. I felt horrible that my boys had to go through that. Thankfully these experiences have been rare. Side note: never going there again.
Amen to that.
So with the weather being unusually hot lately (triple digits!) I thought “why not surprise the gang with a taco Tuesday night?”
It IS still summer, right? — Don’t answer that. —
They were light and perfect (and messy) with a side of rice and mint lemonades. The tortillas tasted like regular tortillas and held together beautifully … you know how sometimes gluten free can crumble or break apart. The funny thing is I didn’t realize I made tacos on a Tuesday (you know taco tuesday-I know weird, I must be getting old!) until my teenager came charging to the table yelling “taco tuesdays, oh yeah!!!” I should have said I planned it that way. Duh.
Tacos without chips? You’ve got a very valid point there. We are trying to keep Michael and Ely off corn because we are finding it brings out some giddy, drunk-like behaviors so tortilla chips were out and I was out of our usual supply of bean chips.
Psst, between you and me I love chips with tacos, but around here rice as a side carb is better when behaviors don’t come creeping up.
Most of the components here can be made the day before and assembly is quick. After a long day at school (and work!) we all dug in gung-ho shamelessly licking our fingers with food all over our faces. I mean, how else do you eat a good hearty taco right? I stuff ours so there is no way around it!
Because three of my boys cannot eat tomato I substituted with apricot as another fruit alternative, less acidic than tomato yet pairs very well with jalapeño and cilantro. I included some other choices in my notes below. Many taco aficionados use raw green cabbage, not to knock anyone here but I find it’s kind of dry and flavorless so I add some oil and cilantro to season it up a bit and the salt adds moisture.
I went with a crema instead of our usual guacamole for a smoother, sauce-like consistency. With onion being one of guacamoles ingredients I thought too much onion here would overpower the shrimp. I will say the avocado crema is sublime. It has just enough flavor to widen the eyes but not so much so where you ask yourself “where’s the shrimp?”. I had some left over that I added to my eggs this morning. Hmm, now I’m thinking about this crema in an omelette or tossed into grilled green beans or asparagus. And with a little more garlic, as a green goddess salad dressing.
The wheels are turning …
Speaking of shrimp earlier now I don’t want to tell you what kind of shrimp to buy BUT feel I need to share some facts about farm-raised shrimp (or fish), 99% of the time farm raised is GMO (If you have some time and would like to know more, here’s a good read on that. When available, go for wild. There, I will get off my soap box now.
Back to tacos.
I use frozen pink shrimp, they are sweeter than wild mexican shrimp. The idea of having bags stored in my freezer rather than buy fresh shrimp that I may or may not make that day (hello life!) feels less stressful. That and frozen meals, pie crusts, dough, sauces, meats, fruit, veggies, bread, and the aforementioned shrimp-all in my attempt to keep life in an allergen-free kitchen organized. Now I’m rambling about my freezer. Someone stop me!
Enough said … go round up your ingredients for some shrimp tacos this week. The unofficial end-of-summer-long-weekend is better with tacos … enjoy!
Here are the step-by-step-photos …
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped fine (to be divided in recipes below)
- ¼ small red cabbage, thinly sliced
- lime cut into wedges
- 2 packages GF/DF/SF tortillas (I used Udi’s mini tortillas, for my egg free son I used corn tortillas)
- 1.5 pounds extra large (16-20 count) wild shrimp, shells removed and deveined (I use frozen florida wild pink shrimp)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- pinch crushed black pepper
- juice ½ lime
- Green Cabbage Slaw:
- ½ large green cabbage, thinly sliced
- few large pinches chopped cilantro
- 1-2 tablespoons avocado oil, or another neutral tasting oil
- 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt to taste
- Apricot Salsa Fresca:
- 4 apricots, diced
- ½ jalapeño (more if prefer spicy), seeded and diced
- 2 large pinches chopped cilantro
- ½ medium white onion, diced
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- pinch of crushed black pepper
- Avocado Crema:
- 2 avocados
- 2 cloves garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (I use just mayo brand that is egg free)
- 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¾ cup water
- In a mini food processor, combine all the avocado crema ingredients. Add more water and adjust salt if needed for a sauce-like consistency. Transfer to a serving bowl, set aside.
- Combine all the (chopped, and diced) ingredients for the apricot salsa fresca then transfer to a
- bowl. Set aside.
- Combine sliced green cabbage with chopped cilantro, avocado oil, salt and pepper then toss to combine well.
- Set a grill pan, or non-stick skillet set on medium-high heat, when hot heat each tortilla for 2 minutes (if using Udi’s tortillas: when it begins to form bubbles it’s done). Set aside covered to keep warm.
- Using the same grill pan (if using a skillet, add a tablespoon of cooking oil) grill shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side. It should appear bright pink and opaque.
- Add some green cabbage slaw to each tortilla, then a few shrimp to each, red cabbage, apricot salsa fresca, and avocado crema. Garnish with leftover chopped cilantro and lime wedges. Serve immediately with a side of rice or tortilla chips.
- The shrimp count number (usually next to the size and origin) indicates how many shrimp you will get per pound. A general serving size is about 6 shrimp, or 2 tacos for this recipe.
- If you happen to have extra avocado crema try it on eggs, or mixed into the rice-delicious!
- Apricot is milder, and less sweet flavor than say pineapple, mango or tomato. If you prefer a sweeter salsa try those, or peach-another great option and goes well with shrimp.
- I don’t make anything too spicy because my younger boys don’t tolerate it very well. Add more jalapeño if you prefer more heat.
- All the components to this recipe can be made ahead a day in advance with the exception of the tortillas and shrimp. Reheating tortilla and shrimp is not a good thing when it comes to tacos.
- I use water for the avocado crema to keep it light. I don’t have the heart to put a ton of mayo into it (even healthy mayo), and believe me you would never know it!
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