shrimp taco bar {at home!}

We’re bringing the outdoor taco stand from the outside in to our kitchen today!

I don’t know about y’all, but there are certain foods that just scream “summer” to me – and tacos are certainly one of them! I hardly ever find myself craving them during the year, but there’s something so satisfying about biting down onto a perfectly warm corn tortilla wrapped around a myriad of fillings that just is heavenly.

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More often than not, good tacos are somewhat hard to come by around here. We are fortunate enough to have an excellent Mexican restaurant not too far from where we live, but sometimes, when the craving strikes, there’s just no time to change out of your yoga pants run out for dinner! Enter these tacos.

Being completely honest, this was one of those recipes I happened upon while preparing dinner a week or so ago. I love to keep shrimp on hand {we have it almost every week…sauteed, grilled, broiled, cocktail-style, etc.} because it’s so easy during these hot months to quickly and easily throw together a delicious and filling meal. Not only is it an excellent source of protein and super lean, but it’s a great vehicle for any sort of dish.

That’s where these tacos come in! I was going for a slightly sweet/smoky overall flavor, with accouterments that would play off those flavors nicely. This is a very easy dish to prepare, and can be adjusted according to your heat preference, flavor combinations, taco styles, etc.

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Shrimp Taco Bar {at home!}

the below ingredients/sauces provide enough “materials” for two people at three tacos each…simply double/triple/etc. to come up with the correct amount for you at-home bar!

Ingredients: {sauteed shrimp filling}

8-10 jumbo shrimp, rinsed and deveined

extra virgin olive oil

salt & pepper, to taste

several tbsp. of your favorite Mexican beer

pinch of cumin, to finish off the shrimp {anywhere from 1/2 to 1 tsp.}

pinch of Cajun seasoning, to finish off the shrimp {I probably used a good tsp. or two}

Cook the Shrimp:

Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once nice and warm, add in a good drizzle of olive oil. You’ll want to turn it around the pan several times, to give it a good coating.

Once the oil is warm, add in the shrimp. Toss immediately so the shrimp don’t stick, and season with the cumin, Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Allow to cook for a minute or so, to develop initial color.

Add in the beer {away from the heat!}. Once back on the burner, turn up the heat to sear off the shrimp – you’ll want some good caramelized color on the sides! Being careful not to overcook, finish off until the beer has reduced. Remove from heat and set aside.

tip: pour off the cooking liquid and save as a drizzling sauce for the top of your tacos; it’s delicious!

Wraps & Fillings:

finely shredded napa cabbage {about 1-2 cups}

mini sweet bell peppers, assorted colors {I julienned about 7}

fresh cilanto

diced roma tomatoes {2-3 small ones is perfect}

julienned onions {green onions or scallions would be great as well}

wedges of lemons and limes

salsa {I used Trader Joe’s}

crumbled queso fresco, about 1/2 to 1 cup

crema**

corn tortillas {I assumed 3 per person, which was the perfect amount for the hubs and I}

Assemble the Taco Bar:

I find it easiest to put out different serving bowls for each topping, spreading out all along the sides of the table for easy access.

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Whatever combination strikes your fancy for your taco stuffing is the way to go! I love a healthy dose of crunchy cabbage, fresh cilantro and tomatoes, drizzled with the crema and sprinkled with queso fresco. Such simple combinations are often the best – I hope you enjoy this fun and easy dinner! And make sure you enjoy it with a cold and refreshing Mexican beer, complete with a lime wedge!

**To Make the Crema: simply mix together one 6 ounce container of plain Greek yogurt with fresh lemon juice, fresh lime juice, a little dash of honey {to cut the tartness of the acidic juices and tart yogurt}, salt and pepper, and a pinch of two of fresh herbs {I used a combination of cilantro, cumin, and a dash of oregano}. You’ll want it thin enough to drizzle over the tops of the tacos, but still not run down to your elbows!

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