Grab your children and lock the doors… there’s a lunatic grilling outdoors in this heat!
I love grilled tacos in the summer, but I don’t like going outside in the Phoenix heat to cook them. This Grilled Shrimp Tacos with BBQ Dry Rub Recipe is the answer. I grill them indoors—under the air conditioner— were it’s cool. These fast (really, what cooks faster than shrimp?) and easy tacos are a healthy dinner that only takes minutes to cook on a grill pan, but tastes like you stood over the charcoal grill to cook them.
Make a batch of fluffy rice with fresh corn and a side salad of watermelon and you have a quick light and healthy meal that won’t heat up your kitchen.
The only good thing about the heat wave escaping the Southwest and putting a “heat dome” over the rest of the country is that now I have someone to understand the quirky ways we keep cool around here.
1. Move the bbq closer to the window so that you can run out and put the food on, but watch it from the house. Charcoal grills should not be put under the patio… that should be left to us, the trained professionals. If you hear of someone burning down their house someday… it might be me.
2. Buy blocks of ice to throw in the pool so it doesn’t feel like bath water.
3. Bring lawn chairs to the Little League games to set up under the bleachers and watch the game in the shade while the children are standing out at second base.
4.Have the children wear a wet towel that looks like Lawrence of Arabia to ride bikes and play outdoors.
These are just the things we do to keep cool that I will admit to in public. The other things you have heard of must have been my stunt double…. I have no official knowledge of those.
Zoku Quick Pop Maker Give Away
Did you find any “quirky” ways to keep cool while under the heat dome that you can admit to in public?
Leave your tip in the comment section and enter to win a Zoku Quick Pop Maker,
Follow @Southwestgirl on twitter and leave a comment,
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Winner will be chosen at random on Friday August 5, 2011.
UPDATE—Give Away Winner is… Heather Buen!!!
Here’s how you make the Grilled Shrimp Tacos with BBQ Dry Rub
BBQ dry rubs take a lot of spices. Don’t feel like you can’t make this recipe because you don’t have every ingredient in your pantry and your budget for this week does not include this many jars at $5 to 7$ dollars a pop. I buy my southwest spices in the Mexican import section of my grocery store for .89 cents each. Yes, you heard correctly, .89 cents for about 1 1/4 to 2 ounces a package. They may not have every spice, but they have most of the ones you are looking for.
There is another option as well. Several of the popular spice brands have “mixed” spices. I bought the Barbeque Mix to try it out and it worked just fine…. not quite as Southwest as the recipe below, but very good.
You can also use one of your favorite spice mixes as well. Try to use one that is BBQ style, it goes so well with the pineapple.
Mix your spices together I a large cereal bowl. You will wind up with quite a lot of spice mix even though the amounts are no more than 1 to 2 tablespoons. Save the extra and the dish will come together even faster next time you make it.
Note: A word on food safety—I know, I know, these are things you already do, but, I would feel so bad if someone got sick because I didn’t say something… so, here goes:
Please take a minute to separate a couple of tablespoons of the spice mix into a separate bowl. That way, the spices you do not use will not be contaminated with raw shrimp and you will not have to waste the spices you don’t use today.
Remember to wash your hands after each time that you touch the raw shrimp so that you don’t cross contaminate the ingiedients that will not be cooked such as the pineapple and cabbage.
If you are using frozen shrimp (it’s Arizona, that’s all we have), please thaw the shrimp if the refrigerator.
Keep all shrimp in the refrigerator or on ice while marinating in the dry rub.
There, that didn’t hurt too much.
Lightly sprinkle the dry rub mixture over the shrimp. Turn the shrimp over and sprinkle the other side.
This dry rub can be a little spicy, so go easy the first time and see how you like it. My husband likes spicy and I like mild, so I do some with a little more spice for him.
Cover the shrimp with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator while you prepare the other ingredients.
Slice or chop all of the remaining ingredients. The shrimp cook very quickly so, it is important to have the cabbage, pineapple, tomatoes, avocado and onion chopped and ready.
When the ingredients are ready, and the table is set, it’s time to grill the shrimp.
I put my shrimp on skewers so they are easy to turn over and I don’t have to worry about which shrimp have been turned and which shrimp haven’t.
Cook for about 4 minutes on each side. The shrimp will separate a little where they have been deveined, that will allow you to see if they are done or not. If the shrimp are still gray and translucent, they need a few more minutes. Another bonus to the skewer is that you can turn the shrimp on their sides to insure they have been seared on all sides.
Remove from heat and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
Warm the tortillas over the hot grill pan or in the microwave for about 1 minute.
Assemble the tacos while the shrimp are cooking and place all of the ingedients on the table so your family can assemble their own tacos.
Be sure to remove the skewers from your little one’s shrimp.
Grilled Shrimp Tacos with BBQ Spice Rub
1 pound fresh or frozen shrimp (31 to 40 count per pound) peeled and deveined
12 bamboo skewers, optional
3 to 4 tablespoons BBQ spice rub (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil for grill pan
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1 small can crushed pineapple, packed in pure juice or water
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 onion, diced
2 avocados, diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
4 ounces cotija cheese, crumbled (feta may be substituted)
4 ounces Mexican Crema or sour cream
2 limes cut into wedges
16 fresh corn tortillas
4 ounces of your favorite hot sauce (optional)
Directions for Grilled Shrimp Tacos with BBQ Spice Rub:
Defrost frozen shrimp in the refrigerator.
Mix together the BBQ spice rub. Spoon 3 tablespoons into a small bowl. Put remainder into a zip-loc bag and label with name and date. Sprinkle dry rub over the shrimp, turn the shrimp and sprinkle the other side. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator until the other ingredients are ready.
Open the can of pineapple and drain off most of the liquid.
Chop all of the tomatoes, onion, cilantro and avocado. Mix together for a Pico de Gallo.
Pour the Mexican Crema into a bowl and mix with a tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce.
Remove the shrimp from the refrigerator. Put on skewers if desired.
Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Brush with oil. Grill the shrimp for about 4 minutes on each side or until they are no longer gray and translucent. This will depend on the size of the shrimp. Do not overcook.
Remove the shrimp from heat and cover to keep warm.
Heat the tortillas over the hot grill pan or in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Assemble the tacos by spreading a little hot sauce or Mexican Crema on the tortillas. Spoon on avocado, Pico de Gallo, shredded cabbage and crushed pineapple.
Place three to four shrimp on each taco.
Top with a dollop of Mexican Crema or sour cream.
BBQ Spice Rub Recipe
1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin (comino)
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons dry, ground garlic (not garlic salt)
1 tablespoon Ancho Chile
2 tablespoons New Mexico Chile Powder
2 tablespoons dried, minced onion
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons sea salt or kosher salt (if table salt, use half as much)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoons celery salt
Place all ingredients into a large cereal bowl and mix together well. Break apart all lumps.
Measure 3 to 4 tablespoons into a small bowl before sprinkling on any type of meat or fish to avoid cross-contaminating the entire batch.
Put the excess spice rub in a small container or zip-loc bag. Mark the label with the contents and date. Save for later use.
Here are some other light and healthy grilled tacos from around the web:
Lettuce Wrap Fish Tacos with Spicy Cabbage Slaw and Avocado from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Fish Tacos with Creamy Green Chile Cilantro Sauce from the Cookin’ Canuck
Pollo Asado Tacos from Everyday Southwest
Pressure Cooker Chicken Taco Filling from Barbara Bakes
-posted by Sandy