I’m starting to panic, because mango season is coming to a close. Therefore, I am virtually living on mangoes so I can cherish each and every last second with one of my favorite foods. If someone asked me if I wanted to eat ice cream or a mango, I would say, “Um, duh! A mango!” and then I’d probably eat both, because I have a bit of a problem with gluttony. Since I’m on basically an Atkins diet, only the meat is replaced with mangoes, it goes without saying that I’ve been finding all kinds of ways to sneak them into my weekly menu. One way you can never go wrong is in a freakishly delicious salsa.
I do eat vegetarian/vegan oh, say 97% of the time, but this week Tex-Mex Tuesday did feature some goddamn deliciously seasoned chili-lime shrimp for my husband and guests; I piled greens and salsa on mine and chowed down! The spice rub on the shrimp played so well with the sweet mango, that it was basically an Olympic dream team. Texas taught me good Mexican inspired food should be bursting with flavor. Go big or go home when it comes to spices! But Tex-Mex food also really brilliantly balances out all those flavors and creates a full flavor panel that is just to die for. Unless you hate Mexican food, and then it’s probably literally to die for. My point remains valid. I’m tragically far from being an expert in cooking up Mexican cuisine to perfection, but one tip I did learn from people who are brilliant chefs is that you want to use your spices intelligently and pair them with your salsa much like you would a wine. Mindlessly dumping a ton o’ spice on your meat won’t make it taste authentic. Likewise, pulling an East Coaster move and failing to really season your dish will make your taco blah food wrapped in a blah tortilla. Ever notice how a tortilla doesn’t have a ton of flavor? It’s because the ingredients in it are the star, so don’t be afraid to play around with your spices and ingredients.
As I mentioned, the shrimp is flavorful and spicy, but it’s not overtly hot. Since the mango salsa is sweet, it balances out some of the heat. If you like setting your mouth on fire (as many a Texan and Mexican alike enjoy doing), you just pour yourself some sriracha sauce all over this taco and call it a day. Tacos are a fast, easy dinner solution; they’re really in vogue in the east coast right now for dinner parties, and it makes sense. You can prep almost all of the ingredients in advances and have these ready to go in no time. Shrimp isn’t a traditional Texan Taco ingredient, but it is an East Coast staple, so I’m pretty much calling this fusion food 😉
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 15 minutes
INGREDIENTS & DIRECTIONS:
CHILI-LIME RUB/SHRIMP SEASONING:
- 1 pound of shrimp
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground curry
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (I put more because I love the flavor)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried coconut nectar
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- fresh-squeezed lime juice from 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
- Lime zest from 1 lime
In a small bowl, whisk chicken rub ingredients together and rub evenly all shrimp. Allow rub to marinate while you prep the other ingredients. To cook, heat stove to medium-high heat, spray pan with coconut oil spray, and cook each side for about two minutes. When finished, set aside.
→ TIP: lay shrimp in clockwork rotation, starting at 12 o’ clock on the pan. This way, you’ll know which shrimp to turn first.
- 2 cups coconut flour (you can get creative with your flour choices and use any paleo approved mix)
- 1⁄2teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4cup vegetable shortening or 1⁄4cup grape seed oil
- 1teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2cup warm water (may possibly need to add more, up to 3/4 cup)
Mix dry ingredients, then slowly add in water till it forms a slightly sticky ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest for about 1/2 hour. Divide into smaller balls, then roll out under parchment paper into tortillas.Do not use tortilla press for flour tortillas.
→TIP: you can make a taco shape by layering over two prongs in the oven. I just cook mine and as it’s cooling, I form the taco shape, but some like the oven method.
MASA HARINA TACOS:
- 2 cups masa harina
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups of water (possibly more or less, so add water gradually)
Mix in water gradually till mixture form slightly sticky ball. Cover and allow to rest for about a 1/2 hour. You can use a tortilla press, or roll out under parchment paper or plastic wrap.
- 1 mango, peeled and diced
- 1/2 red pepper
- 1/2 green pepper
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
Dice all ingredients, toss in bowl together, squeeze fresh lime juice over mix and mix well. Allow it to rest at least 10 minutes so ingredients can marinate.
This is approximate, based on 6 large shrimp per taco, an 8 inch corn tortilla, and a generous serving of salsa. I measured everything on large side to error on higher calories verses lower calories. The nutrition is a grade A, so you don’t even have to feel guilty about diving in face first!
Layer bottom with lettuce of choice; I used baby arugula for mine. Next, slightly pack in seasoned and cooked shrimp. Top with salsa. Talk about easy, right? My guests LOVED these tacos! They were gone in seconds! Again, if spicy foods aren’t your thing, the chili-rub might not be something you enjoy. Try using a mix of spices you enjoy, because shrimp and mango salsa is SUCH a yum-combo! Any favorite taco ingredients? Let me know about it! Shoot me an email or leave a comment! Much love and lots of spice, from my kitchen to yours!