If you have a weakness for garlic, as I do, then these tacos are for you! A few weeks ago, I discovered that a nearby chef school was offering a taco class, and they had five different tacos on the menu for the night. I called my friend Kelly and she agreed to go with me – how could anyone say no to a taco class?!?
Kelly and I walked in and met the other 10 people that were in the class. We were assigned the garlic shrimp recipe. The first direction on the list was to chop up two huge heads of garlic and heat on low with olive oil. Guys, the smell…it was tantalizing. It was like a love potion, I swear!
We chopped up the other ingredients and waited for the garlic to finish. Our teacher brought out a huge pitcher of passion fruit margaritas while we waited. The combination of a delicious, fresh margarita and the smell of garlic was like heaven. Our teacher told us the longer we cook the garlic, the better. It was a good 25 minutes before it was done, and by then we had already downed about 4 margaritas – we were ready to make paper airplanes out of the instructions and improvise!
Good thing we didn’t. At the end of class we sat down and ate all of our creations. The group decided that ours was the absolute best! VICTORY. Little did they know, it was the easiest recipe out of the five. I’d say it was a fabulous experience; we met new friends, got buzzed on margaritas, and ate some delicious tacos. Enjoy our award winning recipe!
1/2 cup peeled garlic cloves (about 2 large heads)
1/2 cup best quality extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Fine sea salt
Juice of 2 to 3 Mexican limes
1 to 2 canned chipotle chile en adobo, minced
1/3 cup garlic oil (created in step 1)
1 large red pepper, medium chop
1 large yellow pepper, medium chop
1 large white onion, medium chop
1 1/2 pounds 21/25 medium shrimp
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Mexican limes, cut into wedges
With motor running, drop garlic through feed tube of a food processor. Scrape into a small saucepan, add oil, salt and set over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally as the mixture comes barely to a simmer. Adjust heat to very lowest possible setting (bubbles will rise in the oil) and cook until the garlic is soft, pale golden, about 30 minutes. (you are creating Garlic oil that you will use in Step 4)
Add juice to pan and simmer until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in chile, taste and adjust seasonings. Strain into another small saucepan and reserve garlic. Keep pan over low heat, so oil is warm when shrimp are ready to cook.
Set a large 14 inch heavy non-stick skillet over medium low heat and add garlic oil. Add peppers and cook, stirring infrequently, until beginning to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Add onion and stirring infrequently, continue to cook until all veggies are well caramelized. Scoop into a bowl and set aside. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and set aside for cooking shrimp.
Peel shrimp; reserve shells for another use. Devein and rinse shrimp, pat dry. Cut into quarters – once lengthwise and once crosswise. Return skillet to medium-high heat and spoon in 3 tablespoons of garlic oil. Add shrimp to skillet, sprinkle with pepper. Continuously stir until shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in cilantro, reserved garlic that was strained from oil, reserved peppers and onions. Serve on a hot tortilla with a squeeze of lime.
My next recipe? Passionfruit Margaritas, of course!