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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Shrimp Tacos with Spicy Avocado Lime Cream

This recipe is an adaptation of two recipes that I saw while idly flipping through the Cooking Channel, and various cookbooks.  (I guess you can tell how I spend my free time.)  It's partly inspiration from Chuck Hughes, and partly from Guy Fieri.... Can't go wrong with guys that believe in big, bold flavors, and interesting textural combinations.  
So here is the flavor experience that we ended up with ultra delicate wonton "taco" (Guy Fieri) is the vehicle for our bold, flavorful grilled shrimp.  These are enhanced with the spicy bite of fresh pico de gallo, and the creamy, cooling effects of the avocado lime cream (Chuck Hughes)...all brightened by the fresh cilantro.  Maybe the ultimate tasty small bite!  Thanks, gentlemen... we sure did enjoy... and so did our little neighbor kid who came in saying "Brady said I should come eat with ya'll tonight for some really cool shrimp tacos."  

The shrimp were skewered, marinated in lime juice and Bombay Seafood Blast, and grilled.  We also tried chicken, but it was not quite delicate enough for the wonton "tacos."  So really, this recipe is really about the Spicy Avocado Lime Cream.  Yum!

Spicy Avocado Lime Cream:  
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (sour cream)
  • 3 avocados, pitted, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 - 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • A handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • A few drops green Tabasco hot sauce
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
Pico de Gallo:
  • 1/3 of a sweet onion
  • 1/4 of a yellow bell pepper
  • juice from one lime
  • small handful of chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 seeded and chopped jalapeno
  • one pint of fresh chopped grape tomatoes
  • salt and pepper.
Just mix all of the ingredients together and enjoy!  Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
    1 cup plain Greek Yogurt (strained)
    3 ripe avocados, chopped

    add the avocado to the yogurt.  I find it's just as easy to mash them with a potato masher as chopping them.  This is a good activity for your little helpers.

    Seeded and chopped jalepeno.  Leave the seeds in if you want a hotter cream sauce.

    Zest and juice of one lemon.  This is NOT a good toddler activity.  Very easy to zest your finger.... and that bleeds a long time!
    Add the zest to the avocado and yogurt.  Do this before cutting the lime.  Hard to zest after you've cut the fruit.

    Add the juice of the lime.  For a juicier lime, microwave for about 15 seconds, then roll them under moderate pressure on the counter before cutting them.

    Several shakes of green jalapeno hot sauce... depending on how spicy you like it.

    a small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

    Season with salt and pepper. That's it!  Stir it all together until creamy consistency.

    Fresh Pico de Gallo - about 1/3 of a sweet onion, 1/4 of a yellow bell pepper, juice from one lime, small handful of chopped cilantro, 1/2 seeded and chopped jalapeno, one pint of fresh chopped grape tomatoes, salt and pepper.
    The fast trick here is to make "wonton tacos."  Premade wonton wrappers, cut into a circle (we used the lid to a plastic dish).  Fry in 350 degree F oil for about 15 seconds each side, pressing the middle down with a spoon or tongs to make a "taco" shape.  Sprinkle with salt and drain on paper towels when lightly browned.  These are so delicate and tasty!  The key is to find a handsome kitchen helper to get on board with this project.

    Assemble!  Wonton taco, shredded lettuce, grilled shrimp, pico de gallo, then the avocado lime cream.  Sprinkle with a bit more cilantro.  Wow!!!

    These were great!!!  A little messy to eat, but that's okay.  Big flavors that work really well together!

    ... and just think... we started with NONFAT yogurt! 

    The avocado (Persea americana) is a native tree to Central Mexico.  Avocado or alligator pear also refers to the fruit  of the tree, which may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped or spherical.  Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. They have a green-skinned, pear-shaped fleshy body that ripens after harvesting. Trees are partially self-pollinating and are often are propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit. The native, undomesticated variety is known as a criollo, and is small, with dark black skin, and contains a large seed. The oldest evidence of avocado use was found in a cave located in Coxcatlán, Puebla, Mexico, that dates to around 10,000 BC.

    The word 'avocado' comes from the Spanish aguacate which in turn comes from the Nahuatl word ahuácatl (testicle, a reference to the shape of the fruit). Avocados were known by the Aztecs as 'the fertility fruit'.
    The fruit of horticultural cultivars has a markedly higher fat content than most other fruit, mostly monounsaturated fat, and as such serves as an important staple in the diet of various groups where access to other fatty foods (high-fat meats and fish, dairy, etc.) is limited.

    A ripe avocado yields to gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand and squeezed. The flesh is prone to enzymatic browning, which means it will turn brown quickly after exposure to air. To prevent this, lime or lemon juice can be added to avocados after they are peeled.

    The fruit of the avocado is not sweet, but fatty, and distinctly yet subtly flavored, and of smooth, almost creamy texture. It is used in both savory and sweet dishes, though in many countries not for both. The avocado is very popular in vegetarian cuisine, as substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads because of its high fat content.

    Generally, avocado is served raw, though some cultivars, including the common Hass, can be cooked for a short time without becoming bitter. Caution should be used when cooking with untested cultivars; the flesh of some avocados may be rendered inedible by heat. Prolonged cooking induces this chemical reaction in all cultivars.

    It is commonly used as the base for the Mexican dip known as guacamole, as well as a spread on corn tortillas or toast, served with spices.

    Avocados have diverse fats. For a typical avocado:
    • About 75% of an avocado's calories come from fat, most of which is monounsaturated fat.  
    • On a 100 g basis, avocados have 35% more potassium than bananas. They are rich in B vitamins, as well as vitamin E and vitamin K. 
    • Avocados have a high fiber content of 75% insoluble and 25% soluble fiber.
    High avocado intake was shown in one preliminary study to lower blood cholesterol levels. Specifically, after a seven-day diet rich in avocados, mild hypercholesterolemia patients showed a 17% decrease in total serum cholesterol levels. These subjects also showed a 22% decrease in both LDL (harmful cholesterol) and triglyceride levels and 11% increase in HDL (helpful cholesterol) levels. Additionally, extracts of P. americana have been used in laboratory research to study potential use for treating hypertension and diabetes mellitus. 


    1. This is so good, Julie! I had some frozen fish filets that I needed to do something with, so I used them for the recipe: sooo good! ~~Elaine

    2. Elaine - I'm so glad you enjoyed!! Thanks for letting me know how this turned out for you. Julie

    3. OH JULIE! How come I haven't seen these yet?? LOVE shrimp tacos, and these look perfect. Will have to make these some night when hubby is gone and can have friends! :)

      1. GASP!!!! Beth, I didn't know I had ANY recipes that you still haven't tried! LOL... You go girl! I remember these being so much fun to make and eat, but sadly I have become allergic to shrimp. Scouts honor. It really really sucks. So if you get the chance to try them, enjoy one for me!!!!!!!!!! :)

      2. Haha Julie! LOL... :) Oh, and HUGE bummer about being allergic to shimp. :( Will have one in your honor when I do try them...and will try not to "rub it in"...ha! ;)


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