Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quick dinner - what's on hand?

Finding myself alone for dinner tonight, and not too inspired to go out or get creative with cooking for one, I decided to keep it on the simple side. For some strange reason, I had been thinking of Mexican food all day, and thought that the theme should carry into tonight's dinner. Not wanting to go and grab a bunch of ingredients from the market, I decided to do a bit of fridge and freezer clean out and work with what I had in-house.

What I found:

Partial bunch of cilantro
Frozen Shrimp
Whole Lime
Cojita Cheese
Corn Tortillas
Prepared Refrigerated Salsa (we use a fresh variety from San Juan Salsa Co.)

My creation:

Achiote Shrimp Tacos

Recipe for one person (amounts can be doubled, etc. for more people):

  • 1/4 # frozen shrimp, thawed, drained and chopped into 1/8 - 1/4" pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp oil (canola, olive, etc)
  • 1 tbsp Achiote paste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Juice from 1/2 lime, and 2-3 sliced lime wedges
  • 1/8 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup crumbled Cojita cheese
  • Salsa

Mix the shrimp, garlic, oil, achiote paste, sugar, lime juice, cumin, and salt together and set aside. This should form a slurry-like thin paste.

For the shrimp - Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat, and drop in a scant amount of oil.

For the tortillas - heat a small skillet over medium low heat.

Heat the tortillas in the small skillet, a couple of minutes each side, just enough to warm them through (make sure not to burn them, or dry them out). Wrap hot tortillas in a towel and place into a bowl, or a tortilla warmer, if you have one.

While heating tortillas, place shrimp mixture in the other heated pan, and saute until shrimp are cooked (5 - 7 minutes).

Serve the cooked shrimp on warm tortillas, and top with cilantro, crumbled cojita cheese, salsa and a squeeze of fresh lime.