Saturday, January 26, 2013

Shrimp Tacos-- Who Knew?

Hi!  I haven't posted anything for awhile, but my ironic excuse is....I've been too busy cooking!  The past couple weeks have been full of activities and have highlighted what we all really know--food and cooking for our friends and family are expressions of caring that we look to in the happiest and saddest of times and everything in between.  
I had so much fun with Marie and a couple of her friends putting on a baby shower for an "old" college roommate!  Unfortunately, Marie got a BAD stomach virus a few days before the shower, so she was banished from any food preparation (by her finicky mother!).  She and her friends did the cutest decorating though!  I went ahead and prepared the menu they had planned (everything off "Pinterest"-- what a great resource that is!) and it was fun to be involved that way!  
Then a very dear friend lost her mother and I needed to go there.  Her friends hosted a wonderful "potluck" style reception after the service and again, their love was poured out in every manner of yummy dish from macaroni and cheese to shrimp ceviche.  I spent some time making a LOT of apple and cherry handpies (turnovers to non-Texans) as my contribution.  
Food is a wonderful way to encourage, celebrate, comfort, and care.  It doesn't have to be homemade either!  The expression is there regardless of whether you took the time to make your famous chocolate chip cookies or to go to the most wonderful bakery in town to buy them.  It all still matters.
Well, okay, so on to the tacos!  After 26 years in Texas, I am finally getting the hang of the growing seasons.  I've mentioned this before, but who knew that January was a fabulous month at the Farmer's Market?  I just never even went in January, assuming there wouldn't be anything but old potatoes or something like that!  But, I was sorely mistaken!  Today there was beautiful kale, cherry tomatoes, gorgeous cilantro, fresh garlic, and the most tender, sweet carrots, etc., etc. etc.!  Anyway, I bought way too much, but shrimp were on sale at the grocery store, so that was my inspiration!  Shrimp tacos that used many of the lovely fresh ingredients available locally-- in January!  Who knew?!

Shrimp Tacos (makes 6 tacos)
3/4 lb. shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut into 1/2" chunks
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
4 green onions, sliced (include some of the green tops)
1 large tomato
1 small jalepeno pepper, chopped (include seeds and veins if you like things spicy!) 
2 Tbl. chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 Tbl. olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 sliced avocado
six flour tortillas, warmed*

Add the olive oil to a skillet and saute the garlic for a minute or two over medium heat.  Add the onions, tomato, jalepeno pepper, oregano, and chopped cilantro.  Cook and stir for a bit, until the tomato begins to break down.  Add the shrimp.  Cook and stir until the shrimp are pink and cooked through.  Add salt to taste.
Serve in the warm tortillas, garnished with fresh cilantro and sliced avocado.
*Great way to warm tortillas: Heat a pizza stone in a 350F oven.  When you want warm tortillas, set them on the stone and heat for a minute or two.  They will puff and soften as if they were freshly made!  

These were the shower cupcakes!
Apple and cherry hand pies!
I love making these and will make them to order if you ever want any for a get together!

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