Monday, May 27, 2013

Shrimp Tacos, Refried Beans & Pico De Gallo

**Shamefully walks into blog world**

Wowza! Has it really been over 2 months since our last post? Sorry about that! Life got a little overwhelming and unfortunately the blog was put on my back burner. I've returned now that life is slowly getting back to normal.

Quite a few years ago, Husband and I went to our favorite Mexican restaurant and by mistake, shrimp fajitas were placed in front of me. I love shrimp... but on tacos? I wasn't sure. I placed my "what-ifs" aside and dove in. To this day, it is a meal I remember very well. It definitely made my top 5 best meals.

Today I am bringing this really great meal to you! I'm also providing a simple refried beans recipe and an even simpler pico de gallo recipe.

Shrimp Fajita Tacos (adapted from Eating Richly)

1 package shrimp (medium, large or jumbo)
2-3 limes, squeezed
1/2 cup (loosely packed) cilantro, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt

2 green peppers, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
Soft shell flour tortillas
Sour cream for taco and/or beans

Clean and remove tails from shrimp. Place shrimp in a ziploc bag and set aside.

In a bowl, stir together lime juice, cilantro, garlic and seasonings. Pour over shrimp, seal bag removing as much air as possible and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While the shrimp marinades, steam the sliced peppers and onions with a bit of water in a frying pan for 8-10 minutes.

Preheat broiler.

After shrimp has marinaded, distribute shrimp evenly in a 9x13 pan, pour remaining marinade over shrimp. Add steamed peppers and onions to the pan and broil for 10ish minutes or until shrimp is pink.

Refried Beans (a healthier version) (adapted from Allrecipe)

2 ¼ cups dry (rinsed) pinto beans
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 tbsp chopped green chiles
1 tbsp chopped fresh garlic
2 tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cumin
6 cups water

Combine ingredients in a slow cooker. Turn cooker to high and cook for 8 hours. Check periodically, add water if necessary. I ended up adding about 1 cup half way through.

When ready, drain beans but save the juice/liquid and set it aside. Place beans in a bowl and mash them. I used Kenny, my stand mixer, and he did a superior job. Once mashed, add some of the juice/liquid you set aside earlier. Add until you are happy with the consistency. Place refried beans back into the slow cooker (on low) until you are ready to serve.

Pico De Gallo

2 large tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno, finely chopped & seeds removed (if you enjoy an extra kick, leave the seeds)
1 onion, chopped
1/4-1/2 cup (loosely packed) cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp white sugar (consider this an "add to taste" ingredient)

Combine all ingredients and gently stir. Really... that's it. (Note: Instead of jalapenos, I used the remaining green chiles from the refried beans). Use Pico for a side dish or a topping for taco.

There you have it... a very satisfying, delicious meal.

Refrigerate leftovers and enjoy for lunch or dinner the following day. Pico can be used as a salsa too!

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