So I needed a dinner that was equally comforting, equally flavorful, but required even less effort and time than heading into town.
My inspiration? A 1-pound bag of frozen raw shrimp.
I firmly believe that if you like shrimp, you should always have a few bags of them in the freezer. They thaw quickly, and cook even more quickly. As in minutes. I decided to convert my bag into sweet-and-tangy shrimp tacos, a good eat-with-your-hands sort of comfort food that would come together with minimal fuss.
Aside from the cooking of the shrimp, use this recipe just as a guide. I like to top my tacos with soft goat cheese and avocado, but use whatever you like. Ditto for the flour tortillas; corn would be fine, too. Or if you really want, take all the same ingredients and dump them over a plate of tortilla chips for easy nachos.
Whatever you do, don't skip the tiny amount of sugar added when cooking the shrimp. It's a trick I learned from Alex Guarnaschelli. It acts like salt to help highlight the natural briny-sweet flavor of the shrimp.
Sweet, tangy shrimp tacos
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 pound shelled, raw large shrimp
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup thinly sliced Peppadew peppers
Ground black pepper
Four 8-inch flour tortillas
1 heart romaine lettuce, finely chopped
2 ounces crumbled fresh goat cheese
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and sugar and saute until just barely pink and firm, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes and Peppadews, then heat for another minute. Season with black pepper. Arrange a quarter of the romaine down the center of each tortilla, then top with a quarter of the shrimp and Peppadew mixture. Top each serving with a quarter of the cheese and avocado slices. Serve immediately.
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