Recipe · Thoughts & Tips

Taco Tuesday Two Ways

Fun fact: Taco Tuesday was supposedly a promotion created by Wyoming based fast food chain Taco John’s in the 1980’s. I’m not exactly sure how it got so popular, because everyone has heard of Taco Tuesday. I only just heard about Taco John’s when I drove through the plains states and saw signs for them last September. Whatever the reason, you are bound to see a couple #tacotuesday pictures or statuses on social media once a week.

I’ve got a lot of directions to give, so I’m going to keep the introduction really brief. I wanted to do a taco post, so I played around with a couple ideas one day. I ended up with two different dishes, using similar ingredients, that were both so good I couldn’t decide between them. Before I get to those recipes, there are two components I made beforehand and used in both.

Pickled Jalapenos

Now these are optional. My husband and I like spicy food, so we benefit from having a jar of these in the fridge. If spicy is not your thing, you can skip this.

To make these, combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of white or rice vinegar in a sauce pan. Add 3 Tbsps of sugar, 1 Tbsp of salt, 2 crushed garlic cloves and bring to a boil. Stir in 10-12 jalapeños (sliced, seeds and all), remove from heat and let it rest for about 15 minutes. The jalapeños will start turning a darker, more olive green color. Using tongs, stuff a mason jar as tightly as possible with the jalapeño slices and then pour the pickling liquid over the peppers. Cover and refrigerate.

Mango Salsa

I’m going to be honest, Whole Foods had mangoes on sale last week. They were in my last recipe as well. It’s summer and I am really into using fruits in everything lately.

You can make this salsa in a flash by simply combining 1 finely diced mango, 2-3 finely diced Roma tomatoes and 1/2 of a red onion, you guessed it, finely diced, in a bowl. Then zest and juice a lime, add to the salsa and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate.

Now it’s taco time!

Fried Shrimp Tacos

Yields 4 tacos

  • 4 small flour tortillas
  • 12 large shrimp, cleaned & deveined, tails removed
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup mango salsa
  • 1/4 cup queso fresco, crumbled
  • fresh cilantro, lime & pickled jalapeños for garnish
  •  salt & pepper for garnish
  1. Combine buttermilk, cayenne, garlic & paprika in a bowl. Add shrimp, tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  2. Char the tortillas over a gas burner or warm in the oven on low heat. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a fryer or pot to 375 degrees. Set up a dredging station with the shrimp in one bowl, the egg wash in a second, and the panko bread crumbs in a third. Dip the buttermilk soaked shrimp in the bread crumbs, then the egg wash, then the bread crumbs again. Fry for about 3 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the mango salsa between the tortillas and top with queso fresco and pickled jalapeños (if desired). Lay 3 fried shrimp on each taco, garnish with cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

This was my initial idea for this blog post. Shrimp tacos are my favorite, but I had never tried making them fried before. The shrimp were so crunchy from the panko, it was a great contrast with the fresh salsa. If you want a little extra creaminess, a dollop of sour cream or guacamole would be amazing. I just tried to keep it light and simple since the protein was deep fried.

So as if those weren’t enough, I also noticed scallops on sale. I really don’t work with them a lot, but I thought why not? I knew I would have leftover mango salsa from the tacos, so I decided to do a second dish. I used some of the same ingredients, but in a different enough way that you could serve them together on Taco Tuesday, or for back to back week night dinners.

Spicy Scallop Tostadas 

Yields 4 tostadas

  • 4 small flour tortillas
  • 8-12 scallops
  • 1 tsp lemon peppoer
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup mango salsa
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1-2 Tbsp hot sauce
  • lime & pickled jalapeños for garnish
  • salt & pepper to season
  1. Heat oil in a fryer or large pot to 350 degrees. Fry tortillas one or two at a time, for about 5 minutes, flipping once, until golden brown & crispy. Place on paper towels to drain and set aside.
  2. Combine lemon pepper, ginger, chili & garlic in a bowl. Warm a skillet with a little oil over medium heat. Roll the scallops in the spice mixture then place in the skillet. Sear for 3-4 minutes on each side, until cooked through.
  3. While the scallops cook, divide the mango salsa onto the fried tortillas. Stir together sour cream & hot sauce to taste in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Place 2-3 scallops on each tortilla, on top of the salsa. Garnish with the sour cream mixture, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, a pinch of salt & pepper, and pickled jalapeños (if desired).

I hate buying a bunch of stuff for one dinner and then having all this extra food. These recipes have the mango salsa, tortillas, lime and (optional) pickled jalapeños in common. You can even reuse the frying oil for both.

The way these two dishes compliment each other, you could mix them up. Imagine the shrimp, scallops, salsa and garnishes all displayed with the choice of fried or warmed tortillas like a build your own buffet. Add your own favorite proteins or toppings, if seafood isn’t up your alley. Throw in a pitcher of margaritas and call it the best Taco Tuesday your friends have ever seen.

Tacos. Perfect for a party. Perfect for a week night family meal. No wonder so many people reserve one night a week for them. Let me know what your think, or if you have any fun Taco Tuesday rituals or recipes you love!

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One thought on “Taco Tuesday Two Ways

  1. Crikey!

    What time shall I be over for dinner then?

    The colours are amazing! I will so need to look at how I can adapt this sort of taco into our Gluten Free world xxx

    Like

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