There are a few moments in one’s life that shatter the way you see things and forever alter the way you interpret it. One of those moments happened in Mexico. The first time my soon-to-be wife and I sat down at an authentic Mexican restaurant and were liberated by the flavours of a country we had both loved for a long time. We just didn’t know how much.
The food I had mistakenly associated with Mexico was the grocery store variety of boxed tacos and packaged seasonings. For the longest time this was my only example of Mexican food. Or what I thought was Mexican food. But that changed, quickly and abruptly on our first trip together a year after we started dating.
We left the comfortable confines of the resort to experience the culture and food of the people we had quickly grown to love. I still remember the first time my wife tasted real house-made salsa and fresh chips. And the first time we had authentic tacos. It was like a bolt of lightning. The food and the people were both so incredible that we decided on a destination wedding there to share that love with our friends and family.
Ever since that first trip we both have a longing for the food of Mexico and dream about our next trip there. And every once in a while we both need a good Mexican night at home. Fish tacos, tortillas, rice, micheladas and margaritas. Anything. So we did just that. Our own little Mexican fiesta, with memories of the country that started it all for us.
From my kitchen to yours,
Shrimp Tortillas with Lime & Cilantro Slaw and a Spicy Salsa Verde
- 1/2 pound of medium shrimp
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 lime, juiced and zest
- 1 garlic, minced
- 8 corn tortillas
- 2 avocados, coarsely chopped (guacamole)
- 3/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped (guacamole)
- 1 small white onion, diced (guacamole)
- 1 large tomato, diced (guacamole)
- 1 small jalapeno, seeds removed, finely chopped (guacamole)
- 1 lime, juiced (guacamole)
- 1/2 garlic, minced (guacamole)
- 3 tsp. cumin seeds (salsa)
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped (salsa)
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped (salsa)
- 1 large garlic clove, minced (salsa)
- 1 can tomatillas, drained (salsa)
- 1/4 white onion, chopped (salsa)
- 1/2 lime, juiced (salsa)
- 2 cups shredded cabbage (slaw)
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped (slaw)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (slaw)
- 2 tbsp. cider vinegar (slaw)
- 2 tbsp. mayonnaise (slaw)
- 1 lime, juiced and zest
- 1 tbsp. sugar (slaw)
- Combine the ground cumin, smoked paprika, ground coriander, olive oil, lime juice and zest and garlic in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add the shrimp and season and let marinate for 15 minutes.
- While the shrimp marinates, start on the slaw. Combine all the slaw ingredients in a large bowl and mix to until the cabbage is evenly coated. Season to taste. Place in the fridge and keep cool until ready to serve.
- Make the guacamole by combining all ingredients and stirring to coat the avocado. Season to taste and keep aside.
- Next, start your salsa verde. Toast the cumin seeds in a pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the toasted cumin seeds with the rest of the ingredients in a blender and pulse to combine.
- Keep your shrimp aside and warm and heat the tortillas. In a skillet over medium heat, add one tortilla at a time, cooking for one minute per side or until it starts to brown. Keep the hot tortillas in aluminum foil to stay warm.
- To make the tortillas, start by placing the slaw on the bottom of the tortilla. Add 4 shrimp and a spoonful of guacamole. Top with the spicy salsa verde. Repeat.
- Serves 8 shrimp tortillas.
- 2 tbsp. coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 lime, cut into wedges
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. tobasco sauce
- 1/2 x 12 ounce bottle of Mexican beer
- 1 1/2 cups clamato juice
- coarse salt & ground black pepper
- On a plate combine the salt and paprika. Mix. Cut a slit in a lime ridge and rub along the rim of the glass. Dip the glass in the paprika mixture.
- Fill each glass with ice and add the beer and clamato juice. Add the Worcestershire sauce and tobasco and season.
- Repeat for additional drinks.
- Serves 1.