One important fact, at least important to me: This is the 4th taco post on this blog which could possibly be interpreted as a lack of interest in the subject. Quite the opposite. Tacos are a pretty standard in my daily diet, specially recently. I love them. As you know, they’re easy to make and there are so few rules involved that they’re also almost anxiety free, specially if you fear the criticism of the purists out there. I don’t mean to oversimplify them. There are successful and disastrous tacos out there but if you keep things simple, work with good ingredients and follow good cooking technique expect success. If you want to take a look at some more convoluted and risky if not exciting taco recipes… check out my sous vide lamb shoulder asada tacos or my second taco recipe, the wonderful sous vide swordfish taco. Anyways, get about 20 shrimps at the store and follow me.
Peeling and deveining the shrimp are the hardest part.
Alright, you could have bought them peeled, perhaps even cooked (ok, now you’re crossing the line) but nothing like fresh shrimps in their own shells. The shells are a wonderful resource of flavor. Don’t even get me started. A note about deveining. Removing the intestinal track is kinda cool and a great skill to have but I don’t always do it. Shoot me. There’s really no impact on the flavor. It’s obviously a more sound presentation for shrimp, specially for cocktails and salads or if working with really big shrimp, but if they’re small and gonna get smothered in hot sauces and guac… probably not worth the extra effort in my opinion. Up to you.
Should I sous vide my shrimps?
You could… but in my opinion this is an over-complication of the cooking with little to no gain. Unless you’re after that third michelin star I wouldn’t worry too much about it. You can cook shrimp to perfection in a regular pan over a regular stove.
Cooking those shrimps!
Ok, if you got your shrimp already peeled at the store you basically walked away with half the flavor. I know it’s is annoying peeling shrimp but the rewards are awesome. I usually toast them shells in a pan with a little bit of oil until cooked and vibrantly rosy. Then I add water to the pan and render a quick stock. I reserve this stock for later. Then I cooked the shrimp on a hot pan tossing a few times. I add garlic and a splash of vermouth close to the end. I don’t even use salt. Shrimps will cook over high heat in less than a minute and after you add the vermouth if you need to reduce and go over a minute, remove the cooked shrimp from the pan before you do so to prevent overcooking. Add your shrimp stock to the pan and reduce further until to a pan sauce consistency. Pour this sauce over the cooked shrimp and mix well.
Need a hot sauce?
I don’t know if it’s a requirement by the laws of taco making but I MUST have a hot sauce at hand when preparing tacos. Lately I’ve been spending a lot of my kitchen time making hot sauces. I’m working on a number of different ones. All of them are fermented and all of them are fantastic and extremely easy to prepare. If you want to try making your own, you could look at my fermented habanero sauce here. I didn’t use this one on today’s post but it will give you an idea of the process in more detail. I used a fermented arbol chile sauce which is milder and fruitier.
100g dried arbol chiles
1 yellow onion, cubed.
10 garlic cloves peeled
10 tomatoes, cubed.
Blitz the whole thing in a food processor, add salt to taste and pour it in a glass jar with a lid. Don’t tighten the lid. Fermentation gases need to escape. After 7-12 days, your sauce should have soured and is ready for prime time. Fermentation eventually subsides and gases stop building up. Transfer to a bottle and place in the fridge. You can also keep it at room temperature. Don’t worry. It won’t go bad.
Guac’s going on??
Yeah, I too love those avocados and frequently add them to my tacos. In this case I made a simple guacamole. No need to get too fancy here. The avocados do all the work.
Ingredients (makes about a cup):
1 avocado.. ripe, but not too ripe. It’s a fine balance.
Some lemon and or lime juice to your liking.
Small red onion, fine dice.
Mix it all up and done.
Corn or flour??
Up to you. I like flour tortillas and I like to toast them on a pan or flash fry them for a few seconds… it’s awesome. Improves the texture considerably. Don’t overdo it though, it ain’t no tostada!
Putting it all together.
This is the section where I really make assumptions and don’t go over the details of how to put together a taco. It is literally A over B. Stuffing on top of tortillas. Buen provecho guys! What’s your favorite taco??! Leave comments below! See you soon!