Sunday, July 18, 2010

Grilled Shrimp Tacos

serves 4 to 6

Grilled Shrimp Taco with Mango Salsa & Guacamole 
For the Grilled Spice-Rubbed Shrimp:
1 # large (31-40 per pound) raw shrimp
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
about 12 wooden skewers (either 6 or 12-inches), soaked for 30 minutes in cool water
vegetable oil, for grilling
Prepare the shrimp: Peel the shells and tails off of the shrimp.  Be careful not to rip off the entire tail while you’re removing the shell – An intact tail makes for a much prettier shrimp.  De-vein the shrimp (i.e. remove the intestinal tract).  Use a paring knife to make a shallow slice along the center of the outer edge of the shrimp.  This will expose the dark grey ‘vein’, running along the length of the shrimp.  Scrape it out with the knife.  (You may not even have to do this.  Many times shrimp is already de-veined when you buy it.  If it hasn’t been de-veined, the outer edge of the shrimp will be intact, and you’ll see the vein just below the surface.) 
Stir to combine the chili powder, paprika and cumin in a medium-sized mixing bowl.  Add the shrimp and toss thoroughly to coat with the spice mixture.   Skewer four shrimp on each wooden skewer.  Place the skewers on a plate, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours. 
Pre-heat the grill.  (Here’s a way to tell if your grill is at the right temperature.  Hold your hand right over it.  If you you can keep it there for five seconds, it’s not hot enough.  If you can’t hold it there for even a second, it's too hot.)  Lightly oil the grill rack.
When the grill is hot, arranged the skewers of shrimp evenly over the grill.  Grill for about 1 1/2 minutes, then flip the shrimp over and grill for 1 1/2 minutes on the opposite side. 
To assemble the tacos:
Serve the grilled shrimp with warm flour or corn tortillas, guacamole, mango salsa and shredded lettuce.