It’s here. It’s official. It’s hot. It’s summer.
Summer here in Mobile is a very long, muggy, hot mess. The air is so thick you can cut it with a knife. In a nutshell, it sucks.
We’re technically not there yet, where the heat makes you want to kill everyone you see because you’re so cranky. We’re not where all you want to do all day is lounge around in a bathtub full of ice – just you and beer, chillin’ in the tub.
We’re not there yet, but believe me, I can feel it. We’re about 2 inches away.
Enough about that because summer brings some awesome stuff too – surfing, paddle boarding, catching some sun cancer at the beach, and these shrimp tacos. (I kid about the sun cancer but kids, wear your sunscreen. I’ve had a mighty nice sized chunk of my cheek removed because of skin cancer!)
Well, let’s face it, I don’t need summer for tacos. On a very quick side note, I’ll point out that me and the wife had tacos four nights in a row. The. Same. Tacos. Would’ve had it the fifth night but it got too late so we had salads instead. Tacos = life support.
I used my trusty Key West shrimp recipe for these tacos and it’s so defreakinglicious! It’s like shoving an island vacation in your mouth.
So real quickly, for these shrimp tacos, it’s gonna be a very simple cucumber mango salsa, easy healthy avocado cream sauce, and these beautifully marinated shrimp.
And by all means, if you can’t get Key West pinks, use any shrimp you want.
Wait. Let me clarify. Not any shrimp you want. Make sure it’s wild caught, Gulf shrimp. Don’t buy that Taiwanese, farm raised crap. (No offense Taiwan.) Let’s support the gulf shrimpers and for real, gulf shrimp is the best, sweetest shrimp around.
Here’s how we’ll do it:
CUCUMBER MANGO SALSA
2 mangoes, diced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 jalapeños, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced or grated
1/4-1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
In a large container, mix all the ingredients together, put the lid on it and let it sit for a couple of hours.
Get the marinade here, Key West shrimp marinade. You’ll need about 1.5 – 2 pounds of peeled shrimp. Make the marinade and let your shrimp hang out in that for about 30 minutes.
AVOCADO CREAM SAUCE
1 small container of Greek yogurt, 5 ounces
1 teaspoon of cumin
hot sauce to taste, I love Matouk’s calypso sauce for this
juice from one lime
Put all ingredients in a small bowl and use your immersion blender to whip it all up. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use your food processor. If you don’t have either of those, you can use a good old potato masher. You might get chunks of avocados, but that can’t be a bad thing in my book. Refrigerate until your’e ready to use.
TO MAKE THE SHRIMP TACOS
It’s easy peasy from this point on. All you have to do is cook the shrimp and warm some tortillas. I like to grill the shrimp. I use a grilling basket but you can use skewers for ease. Grill your shrimp, about 1-2 minutes on each side with medium heat, until it turns pink and opaque. Remove from the heat.
You can cook the shrimp in your Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker too! Add a cup of water to a 6 quart Instant Pot, more if you have the 8 quart. Put a steam basket in. Add your shrimp. Close, seal, and pressure on high, 1 minute, quick release the pressure.
If you’re using a pan, that’s cool too. Heat a pan to med high heat. Add a little bit of coconut butter or oil, just to prevent sticking. If you have a great non-stick pan and cutting calories, don’t worry with the oil or butter.
Cook the shrimp until pink and opaque, 1-3 minutes on each side, depending on the size.
While your shrimp are cooking warm, toast, or grill your tortillas.
Assemble – put some shrimp in the tortilla or lettuce leaf, add some cucumber mango salsa, some avocado cream sauce, and more hot sauce if that’s how you roll. Eat!
What I love about this is you can make this all before hand. The cucumber mango salsa will keep for about 4 days in the fridge. The avocado cream sauce, just as long. The shrimp, put that to marinate the night before or in the morning. If you’re making it for guests it allows you more time to hang out with them drinking beer rather than in the kitchen.
Don’t want the tortillas, my wife likes them in a romaine lettuce leaf. Cut those carbs baby!
And the Matouk’s? I get that at my local Publix, but I first had it with boiled shrimp in Key West. Very flavorful, thick, has some heat, but not too much and it’s just very tasty with seafood. You can probably get it at your local market.
As a bonus, the shrimp are good cold too! So leftovers, if you have any, are as easy as a bowl of lettuce and microgreens, throw some shrimp on it with the cucumber mango salsa and a dollop of avocado cream sauce. Done.
I like to make shrimp burgers sometimes with my left over shrimp. Well, I usually cook extra shrimp to be sure I have some for the burgers. That recipe will be in your mouth soon…stay tuned!