Shrimp and Fried Avocado Tacos

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Photo Credit: Dennis Prescott, 2016.

 

Take your avocado obsession to the next level by rolling them in breadcrumbs, baking them to crispy perfection and stuffing them in a tortilla with a few spicy shrimp. This version of a textural dream that is crunchy, spicy, and refreshing, all at the same time.We are sure that your hunger for tacos will never be the same on Taco Tuesday!

Serves 8

Ingredients:
For the Avocados:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 large egg whites
1 cup Japanese panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium firm but ripe avocados

For the Slaw:
1 lime
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 small red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for serving

For the Spiced Shrimp:
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
24 medium (31-40 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
A squeeze of fresh lime juice

For Assembly:
8 small flour tortillas, warmed
Lime wedges, for serving
Sour cream, for serving
Chopped tomatoes, for serving

Directions:
To make the avocados:
Heat oven to 425°F.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick foil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Lightly beat the egg whites in a second small bowl. In a third small bowl, combine the panko with the oil.

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and peel. Cut each half into ½-inch-thick slices. Working with one slice at a time, coat avocado slices lightly in flour, then in the egg, letting any excess drip off and finally in the panko, pressing gently to help it adhere. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining avocado slices. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

To make the slaw: Finely grate the lime, making zest, into a large bowl, then squeeze in 2 tablespoon juice from the same lime. Whisk in the mayonnaise and a pinch of salt. Add the cabbage, scallions, and jalapeño and toss to coat; fold in the cilantro. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to assemble to tacos.

For the shrimp: In a medium bowl whisk together olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili and onion powders, paprika, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add in shrimp and toss to coat completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes or up to 24 hours for best results.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a a large heavy-duty or cast iron skillet on high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the shrimp.and cook until  just cooked through and slightly pink, about 3 minutes. Do this in batches if necessary with more oil; the shrimp should be in a single layer.   Turn off heat and finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. 

To assemble:  Grill tortillas on stove top over the flame until lightly charred.  Fill the tortillas with the avocados and top with the cabbage slaw, followed by three of four shrimp. Serve with extra cilantro, lime wedges, sour cream and chopped tomatoes, if desired.

Enjoy!

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Fried Cauliflower Tacos

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Tacos may just be the perfect food—handheld, delicious canvases with seemingly infinite flavor possibilities. Here is my healthy take on vegetarian-style fish tacos, using cauliflower and a host of other vegetables. All the crunch, texture and deliciousness and a great option when you want to go the meatless route—or when you just want a really delicious taco.

And to be perfectly honest, this is the best taco I have ever had. You can enjoy this taco for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Happy Eating!

Serves 4 to 8

Ingredients:
For the Spicy Slaw:
1 small head of red cabbage
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons Sriracha
2 teaspoons lime juice
A pinch of salt

For the Black-Eyed Pea Salsa:
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 15-ounce can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup orange bell pepper, diced
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice

For the Cauliflower:
1 head of cauliflower, sliced into florets
1 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon Lawery’s Seasoning Salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Canola oil, for frying

For the Guacamole Dressing:
1 Whole Avocado, sliced, pitted an remove from the shell
1 scallion, thinly sliced, both green and white parts
2 Tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon lime juice
A pinch of salt
8 flour tortillas
1/2 cup Monterey Jack
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 small bunch of cilantro
2 to 3 jalapeños, sliced
Lime slices, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 225°F.

For the Slaw:
Finely slice cabbage and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together mayo, Sriracha, lime juice and salt. Add dressing to cabbage and mix thoroughly. Place slaw in the refrigerator to chill.

For the Salsa:
In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. set aside to allow the flavors to meld.
For the Guacamole dressing:
In a medium bowl, add the avocado, sour cream, lime juice and salt an stir until completely combined. Place the dressing in the refrigerator until ready to make the tacos.

For the Cauliflower:
Heat 3 inches of canola oil in a Dutch oven or deep saucepan to 350°F. Prepare three separate bowls for the breading station: 1 with flour seasoned with the cumin, seasoning salt,garlic powder and cayenne; the second bowl with eggs and the last bowl with combined the panko and breadcrumbs, Working in batches, dredge cauliflower in the flour, then the eggs and lastly the breadcrumbs, coating completely.

Again, Working in batches, fry cauliflower for 2 to 3 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Place fried cauliflower on a rack in the oven to keep warm.

Heat a pan over medium and warm tortillas.

To serve, fill toasted tortillas with 1 tablespoon of guacamole dressing, a good handful of slaw and three or four cauliflower pieces. Top with Monterey jack cheese, a few crumbles of feta cheese, one sprig of cilantro and a few slices of jalapeño, with the lime wedges on the side.

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Lobster Tacos

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Sometimes, you have to come out of “shell” and try something new.

Such is the case with me trying out this new Shrimp Taco tacosSeasoning Mix from McCormick®, that caught my eye in the spice aisle at the local supermarket. I usually make my own spice mixes, but I thought this would be easier for a change of pace.I also like using Old El Paso® Crunchy Taco Shells, I have used for Old El Paso® products for years and I just find them ever so reliable. Instead of using shrimp, as the spice packet advises, I decided to used 1 pound of Maine lobster meat, just to give this recipe a twist. tacoshellscrunchyI am sure that you could also substitute the shrimp for a white fish like tilapia or cod for easy fish tacos on soft flour tortillas, as well.

 

Serves 4
Ingredients:
For the Pico de Gallo:
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
Fresh lime juice, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste

For the Cilantro Coleslaw:

1 head green cabbage, sliced thin
1 head purple cabbage, sliced thin
1 small jalapeño, seeded an diced
2 cups whole milk, plus more for thinning
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves, barely chopped

For the Lobster:

1 package of McCormick® Zesty Garlic Shrimp Taco Seasoning
Mix
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 pound of cooked lobster meat, chopped into chunks
8 6-inch Old El Paso, crunchy corn tortilla shells
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
Preheat an oven to 325ºF.

To make the pico de gallo, in a bowl, stir together the onion, jalapeños and tomatoes. Season with lime juice and salt. Set aside.

To make the cilantro coleslaw, combine the shredded cabbage and jalapeño in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the milk, mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt, black pepper and cayenne. Add more milk if you like the dressing a little thinner. Pour over the cabbage. Toss to combine. Just before serving, toss in the cilantro. Can mix the slaw up to 2 hours before serving.

For the taco shells, unwrap the store bought taco shells and place them  on a baking sheet and pull apart slightly. Bake at 325ºF for 6 to 7 minutes until crisp.

Heat oil and water in a large cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add the lobster meat and Seasoning mix an stir for about 2 minutes or just until lobster is heated through.

To assemble the tacos, add shredded lettuce, coleslaw, lobster meat and cheese. Serve on a platter with the pico de gallo on the side.