[ Editor’s note: The guest blogger this week is my oldest son, proving the age old adage that the nut does not fall far from the tree!!]
Shrimp Street Tacos: This is so simple and really a fun time.
1lb Shrimp (peeled and deveined) use a medium to large size shrimp
Corn tortillas (min. 2 per person)
1 head lettuce
1to 2 ripe tomatoes
Sour Cream (light sour cream is fine for the calorie watchers)
Cheese (your choice, but we used medium sharp cheddar)
Old Bay seasoning (2 tbsp)
Cumin seasoning (1/2 tbsp)
Cayenne seasoning (1/2-1 tsp) This stuff brings the heat!
1-2 cans your choice black or refried beans (this will be your side)
Salsa of your choice
Corona and/or Tequila (c’mon do both, this is fun Mexican food!)
Pre Prep – this is important don’t skip!
- Put out bowl of chips and salsa.
- Open fridge, pass beers out to all friends. You are now well on your way!
- We are going to now make guacamole while every one enjoys a beer and some talking.
- Take 3 avocados, salsa, cilantro and 1 lime.
- Mix, mash, crush, avocados in a bowl. Add salsa to your liking, recommend 3-5 tablespoons. Squeeze fresh lime into bowl. Finely chop 1 tbsp of cilantro add to bowl. Mix all together and serve. Everyone is now smiling and loving you!
- Open fridge, pass out another round of beers if needed (yes, it’s needed )
- Cut shrimp into little cubes about 1/2 inch and drop into bowl
- Add seasoning and sprinkle with olive oil.
- Mix and set aside
Get several bowls out. We are going to prep all the taco fillings. Go ahead and prep more than you think you’ll need. This will be served buffet style so we want people to not be shy about filling up their tacos.
- Finely chop onion, tomatoes, lettuce, 1 avocado (small cubes), cilantro and grated cheese (1-2 cups). Slice limes
- Set all into individual bowls
Each tortilla needs to have a sprinkling of olive oil. This keeps them from sticking to the pan as you fry them, but also helps give a slight crunch and golden brown look. Follow my steps to achieve this goal and it’s a fairly low cal/grease technique. You want a slight coating on both sides. Not dripping, but coated.
- Sprinkle/drizzle oil over tortilla. Then grab another “dry” tortilla and rub them together spreading oil onto both tortillas.
It’s all about to happen really fast here, your guest should have a fresh beer and a guacamole grin or you must have missed a step somewhere.
- Pre heat one large pan/skillet (high heat)
- Pre heat one medium pan/skillet (medium high heat)
- Open beans, put into pot on low to simmer
- In large pan/skillet over high heat fry tortillas. The idea is to give each side a nice golden brown. You know it’s close when the tortilla starts to visibly bubble up. Flip as needed. When cooked, place on plate and cover.
- Add shrimp to medium pan. Cook for about 4 minutes or until pink. These guys cook fast!
- You are going to put this out buffet style. The idea is to recreate theBaja streetvendor feel. Everyone grabs a plate, tortilla, and goes down the line filling their tacos as they wish. You may want to lead the creative process by serving at least one plate to the cutest girl/guy of your liking. This will score you points and show everyone how it’s done : )
- Have a tequila toast and enjoy!
I’ve been going down to BajaMexico to surf since before I had a drivers license. My dad was the first to take me down there. Going there is sort of a right of passage forCalifornia surfers. It offers great waves and guaranteed adventure. Did I mention the adventure part? Yup, keep reading.
Throughout high school and all of college, my friends and I would load up the car and head down whenever the swell conditions looked good. Sometimes we’d camp, but mostly we’d stay at a friend’s condo near a beach called La Fonda. Staying there gave us a great location to do surgical strikes to any of the numerous nearby surf spots and our girlfriends seemed to appreciate a roof over their head. Who knew!
Anyway, many afternoons were spent hanging out on the deck with the BBQ, cold beer, ocean view, and girls tanning in the sun. Life perfected! However, Baja has a way of flipping that on you.
The surf at La Fonda can vary from horrendous to epic and back within hours. Some days it’s sunny and the waves are playful. Other days its dark, foreboding, and you think the ocean is seriously trying to kill you. On this particular day the sun was out and the surf was amazing in the morning. I’m talking about the stuff that makes you giggle and high five your buddy after every wave. So after a few hours of sharing barrels with just my friends the inevitable happened and conditions went bad. No problem, we figured we would wait for the tide to fill back in and come back around evening. After all, we’ve got food, cold refreshments and ladies waiting for us back at the condo.
At the condo, smiles all around, we refueled, hung out on the deck, played some card games and watched a lazy afternoon slowly slip by. I opted to take a nap because I was really hoping for good waves later and I wanted to be on my A game. Off to bed I go as my friends kept the party and good times going all afternoon. I woke up a few hours later and just as hoped for, the waves were pumping! Even bigger and better than the morning. From the deck we saw 8-10 foot perfect waves barreling up and down the beach with nobody around. For the non-surfer, this is equivalent to winning the lottery.
Not surprisingly, my buddies were a bit buzzed after working extra hard at enjoying another perfect afternoon. We loaded up the truck for the 1/2 mile drive down the hill to the surf. I don’t condone any sort of drunk driving, but the road to the beach is straight and more or less our driveway…errr yeah bad idea in retrospect. Surfboards and empty cases of beer are scattered around the truck bed (returning empty bottles gets you a substantial deposit/refund). With the front seats taken I jump into the back of the truck and close the shell top. Off we go!
At first sight of the waves we all started hooting and hollering, it was going to be an epic evening surf. Then we saw something all too familiar inMexico. A Federali road block. These are set up randomly and serve little purpose other than shaking down tourists for cash. In our case, this was very bad news, as we were a bunch of surfers, wearing nothing but our board shorts; no ID’s, and worse yet no cash.
So predictably they stop us. Two officials walk up. One goes to our driver, the other walks around the truck trying to see what’s inside the back. My friend began to speak Spanish back and forth with the official. Then the official slowly reaches in the truck, grabs a piece of paper, folds it into a cone shape, and asks my friend to “blow” (improvised Mexican breath test).
Remember me, the guy that slept all afternoon. Yeah, I’m the dummy who is now sitting in the back of the truck watching this all in pure horror. I utterly cannot believe what I see. Out one window I see flawless waves, out the other I see an angry looking Official trying to see in at me, and in front I see my friend about to fail the “paper cone” test. Did I mention, I’m sitting on empty beer bottles, no ID, no money, no shirt, no shoes. How’s that country song go “No shirt, no shoes, no problems” Wrong! We were about to go to Mexican jail with no shirt, no shoes, and big problems.
My friend continues to blow pitiful little puffs of air into the cone, making it appear as if he’s giving it his all. The Official has seen this trick before and is not amused. I turn and see another perfect wave go peeling down the beach. The Official calls our bluff. We’re toast. With no hesitation we plead our case. “We’re just surfers, we stay just up the road, we have NO MONEY!” This was the crucial moment. The Official says “No tengan dinero” (you guys have no money) we say “Se, no dinero aqui” (no money here.) He did not like this answer and orders my friends out of the truck. I’m still hidden in the back as I watch my friends get out and line up one the side of the road and get on there knees. The official starts yelling at them in Spanish. I’m think “oh man this is going bad really fast”, wondering if they are going to get arrested or shot execution style.
The Official went down the line and one by one made them turn their pockets inside out. No money was found. As a result the Official became even more angry. My friends plead “we’re just going surfing, sorry no money, we can go back and get you some.” Tension was building to a peak. Something bad was about to happen. Just then, as if a mirage in the desert, a van full of pale white American tourists come pulling up to the road block. Music blasting, numerous surfboards haphazardly strapped to the roof. The Official looked at my friends, on their knees, pockets inside out, moneyless…looked back to the full van of new tourists…looked back at us, back to the van and said “Vaye osas rapido” (go to the beach/waves now!) My friends piled back into the truck and we were gonzo. Mucho screaming, laughing, and high fives followed.
I still feel a sense of pity for the van that came after us. They unknowingly rescued us, guess we owe them a cerveza. That’s Baja for ya.
Oh yeah, the waves were amazing and the street tacos never tasted so good!
Good Eating and Table Talk,
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