Saturday, February 19, 2011

Shrimp Scampi Tacos with Cilantro

I have a soft spot for ugly beaches. Growing up in Houston, our summer vacations meant Galveston or Rockport, where the sun was bright, the air salty, and the water filled with tar. Red noses and black feet were the signatures of a day well spent and I racked up my share of both.

They definitely weren't the prettiest beaches. The sand was far from white and the ocean more brown than blue. But they were my beaches. And let me tell you - I have been in California many many times happy to trade their beautiful, fog covered coastline for a good old sunny Texas beach. California beaches are gorgeous - they just don't want anyone to know it!

Anyway, long preamble into a simple recipe and a new all time favorite. After a long, travel-filled work week, all we wanted was to have a margarita (or two) and enjoy dinner on the porch in this unbelievably balmy 70 degree weather. Kris wanted shrimp scampi. I wanted something to go with the margs. We both won. Hooray marriage!

Shrimp Scampi Tacos with Cilantro
* You can saute onions, peppers, or jalapeno with the shrimp if you like.

16 fresh peeled and deveined shrimp - large in size
1 tablespoon butter, plus 2 additional tablespoons
salt and pepper, for seasoning
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
Shredded cheddar cheese, optional
Several flour tortillas, wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and warmed in the oven on 250 for at least 10 minutes

Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a large, rimmed nonstick pan. Put the pan over medium heat and once the butter has melted, tilt the pan around to evenly coat the bottom and add the shrimp, giving each its own private space to cook in.

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and let cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until you can see the sides of the shrimp becoming nice and pink. Use tongs to flip them to the other side, and cook another 2 minutes or just until the tails have become bright and there is no more translucency in the shrimp. Bring heat to medium high and add in the wine.

Let the wine bubble away for a minute or so just to burn off the alcohol, then stir in the last 2 tablespoons of butter and cilantro and reduce the heat to low. Stir the butter until it's melted and incorporated into the sauce. At this point, you can keep the shrimp on the lowest flame just to keep warm until serving - they'll hold for about 15 minutes just fine.

Or eat right away, spooning extra sauce into the tortillas along with the shrimp if desired. Garnish with additional cilantro and/or cheese and don't forget to pull the tails off first if you're wimp like me.


Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

OMG I Love shrimp tacos!!! So good :) I double love the idea of making them scampi style. Mmm delicious!! Your description of leaving the beaches with red noses & black feet made me LOL

The Glamorous Gourmet said...

Wow does that sound delicious! Now you have me craving a margarita as well. Can't wait to make these:)

Reeni said...

Loving your fancy shrimp tacos! I've been to some ugly beaches too but never where my feet turned black!

Jenn said...

Mmmmmm...shrimp tacos!! I love them!! They look incredible. I could go for a big plate of them right now, I don't care that it's only 7am!!!

Design Wine and Dine said...

Oh I am so jealous! It was nice here too this weekend and instead of enjoying margaritas we were ALL so sick with flu/cold! Still not great :(

I think your shrimp scampi tacos are an awesome example of fusion food - something so simple but creative that many would never think to do...I LOVE them!

lisa is cooking said...

I do love shrimp scampi and shrimp in tacos. So, yes, this is a perfect compromise! Great with cilantro too.

Karen said...

Perfect chill out food! And 70F sounds downright obscene... ;-)

Katie@Cozydelicious said...

I love how you turned shrimp scampit into food to have with margaritas! These look awesome.

Biz said...

The best of both worlds if you ask me! And I love, love, love cilantro - thanks for the recipe!

Karen said...

Mmm, this sounds so good, espeically with a margarita (or two ;)