It is April 14th...35 degrees...a steady drizzle of rain. My yard is a swamp, and my dogs are going stir crazy. Tomorrow it might snow! This is just not right. We deserve better.
So, we decided to defy the season and have a taste of the tropics inside. The initial inspiration was a post I was reading by the Homesick Texan about the perfect flour tortilla. It got me thinking about tacos (I know...again...I'm kind of obsessed). I was craving something fresh and spicy.
I started by making those fresh tortillas, which turned out so delicious and chewy. I filled them with grilled shrimp marinated in a Caribbean marinade that I adapted from Dunstan Harris' book Island Barbecue: Spirited Recipes from the Caribbean (adapted means I didn't have some of the ingredients). The shrimp was roughly chopped and topped with a slaw of green cabbage, mango, red pepper and cilantro. The final touch was a creamy "fish taco" style dressing that included some of the marinade. We dished it up with a side of black beans well fortified with smoky bacon.
I'm telling you what...this meal brightened this dreary day. It was one of the tastier things to come out of our kitchen in a while.
Oh...I almost forgot. You can't have a Caribbean meal without a icy Mojito. I had to make a last minute run to the store for some mint to make that possible.
Jerked Shrimp Tacos with Mango Slaw
8 Fresh Flour Tortillas (find the recipe here)
1 Pound of fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 Cup Jerk marinade
2 cups Mango slaw
1/2 cup dressing
Toss shrimp in 1/4 cup of Jerk marinade and store refrigerated for at least one hour. Reserve some marinade for the dressing. Grill shrimp until done. Chop shrimp into large pieces.Distribute shrimp evenly between taco shells. Top with slaw and dressing. Serve with a slice of lime.
Jerk Marinade (adapted from Island Barbecue by Dunstan Harris)
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
3 Jalapeños stems removed, cut in 1/2 retaining seeds
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup Soy sauce
2 Tbls vegetable oil
1 Tbls Salt
Pinch garlic powder
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree.
1 Cup cabbage,finely shredded
1 Mango, peeled and seed removed, julienned
1/4 Cup red pepper, julienned
1 Tbls cilantro finely chopped
Pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients and set aside fro at least 1/2 hour.
1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
1/4 Cup Sour Cream
1/8 Cup Milk
1 clove garlic minced
2 Tbls Jerk Marinade
2 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of cracked black pepper
Combine all ingredients