Tacos and Beer: A Love Story
This past week has been really cold. I mean really, REALLY (expletive) cold. And seeing as though it's only the middle of December, sadly, it's only going to get colder. Honestly, I’ve already shifted into hyper-hibernation mode, seeking out comfort food in preparation of the inevitable coming months of Snowmageddon imprisonment. But for some reason last week, I got a hankering for some delicious tacos.. probably because I really just wanted to forget about how cold it was and how hard it was snowing. To me tacos scream summer time. Perhaps it's all of the bright flavors or the fact that they go so well with an ice cold IPA. Either way, these shrimp tacos are definitely the perfect dinner for summer (or closing the blinds and pretending it's still summer!). They are quick, easy, and light. They also showcase some of my favorite flavors: chipotle, cilantro, and lime.
The combination of spices in this recipe may make the shrimp a little spicy, but the coolness of the cilantro-orange beer sauce balances out the flavor nicely. If you do want to tone it down a little bit, you can omit the seeds from the chipotle chiles or cut the number of chiles used in half.
So here it is, for your stomach's pleasure...
1.5-2 pounds raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 bottle (12 oz) Arbor Brewing Sacred Cow IPA
6 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with side of knife
1/4 tsp salt
3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced (and seeded if you don't want your tacos too spicy), plus 1 Tbsp adobo sauce
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chili sauce
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Garnish: finely shredded iceberg lettuce, diced avocado, minced red onion, cilantro leaves
Place shrimp in large, deep skillet in a single layer; add beer, garlic and salt. Turn heat to medium. Slowly poach shrimp about 4-5 minutes, turning shrimp about halfway through, until just cooked through (beer will just be approaching a simmer at this point). The cooking time may need to be adjusted, depending on what size shrimp you use. DO NOT overcook them, though, because they get rubbery and disgusting. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon to bowl and cool. Bring beer and garlic to a boil; boil 8 minutes, or until reduced to 3 Tbsp, skimming surface once or twice. Strain liquid into a bowl to remove all the leftover shrimp gunk, and then add the garlic back in, mash the garlic and let the sauce cool.
Add chiles, adobo sauce, mayonnaise, chili sauce, red onion, orange zest and juice, and chopped cilantro to beer mixture; whisk dressing until blended.
Add shrimp to dressing; toss to coat. You can make and refrigerate everything up until this point a day or two ahead of time.
To serve, top tortillas with shredded lettuce and shrimp mixture. Garnish with diced avocado, onion, and cilantro.
Shrimp tacos. People either love them or hate them. But the people that hate them have never tried them. Go figure. Just let me say that they aren't what you think, and you should give them a chance. I even made a believer out of Seth with this recipe!