Shrimp/Fish Tacos: Main Ingredient

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Finally. The star of the dish. The main ingredient(s).

Earlier this week I started a three-part series of blogs to break down the components of shrimp/fish tacos.  Part one was the grocery list. Part two was mango salsa and pico de gallo. Part three was the glorious guacamole. So why are we on part four of a three-part series? I intended to put all the condiments together in the same post but decided guacamole deserved its own. So now … bring on the shrimp and/or fish!

This is the easiest part of this whole process.

Shrimp and/or Fish for Tacos

1-2 pounds raw, deveined shrimp (51/60 ct) and/or tilapia
1-2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
garlic powder
ground cumin
chili powder
salt and pepper

Pat shrimp/fish dry with a paper towel and toss with garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Heat avocado/olive oil in a sauté pan. Add shrimp/fish to pan (it should sizzle lightly when it hits the pan). Shrimp will only take a minute on each side to cook. I literally had time to take one picture before flipping the first time. Do not overcook the shrimp. They should turn from a grey/white to a light pink. The shrimp will also cook a little more after removing from heat.

Tilapia will need a little longer on each side. Flip the first time when you can see the edges are heating through. After flipping, you can best tell it is ready when a fork, inserted in the thickest part, causes the fish to flake apart when gently twisted. Remove from heat.

Serves: One pound of 51/60 count shrimp means there are 51-60 shrimp in a pound. I would plan on about 5-6 shrimp per taco if using the 6″ tortillas. For each pound of shrimp or fish, plan on making about 10 small tacos.

I think the only thing on the grocery list that has been left unmentioned is the corn tortillas. I love the flavor of the corn tortillas but they have a big tendency to break apart easily and quickly as you eat. It does help to sprinkle them with a little water and heat them in a microwave (wrapped in slightly dampened paper towels) or in the oven (wrapped in foil) according to the directions on the package. Eat one at a time (yes it’s tough to do) and keep the others as warm as possible.

Or use flour tortillas.

After the shrimp/fish, the mango salsa, pico de gallo and guacamole, I’m not sure the type of tortilla is much of an issue.

Thanks for hanging in there on this three-turned-four-part series. I hope that breaking it up like this has helped to convince any doubters out there that long recipes do not automatically mean a lot of hard work or difficult steps. Sometimes it just means having the right things in your freezer, refrigerator and pantry.

Where’s my margarita?


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Anita Hinkeldey McVey

From the farm in Alta ... to college in Ames ... to the suburbs of Des Moines in Waukee ... I am an Iowa girl through and through. I married the cute, but quiet, guy who made me laugh out loud in Statistics class and we have two awesome, but terribly sarcastic, boys. In 1999, I quit my research job to be home with those active boys. Staying home allowed me to spend more time preparing meals, trying new recipes and striving to serve healthier options for my family. Now that my boys are men ... well, "adults" anyway ... and my husband still appreciates what I accomplish at home, I have time to explore my creative side and knock "writing a blog" off my bucket list. I love trying new things, traveling, gardening, reading and clean countertops. I love baseball (watching, not playing) and concession stands. Choosing a favorite food is impossible but if I was forced to pick just one, it would be pie! I thank God that He has led me to this place. Here's to a new adventure and hopes that others will be able to use what I post to discover the benefits of family meals and living a picnic life.

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