Continuing our eclectic journey through the world of culinary delights we present to you Tequila Shrimp with Jalapeño, Cilantro & Lime. It’s a delightful meal but for adults only. 🙂
I have never been a big fan of tequila. Perhaps it’s because, in my youth, tequila was that crazy stuff we drank at the end of a night of partying that tasted bad, smelled as bad as it tasted, required salt and lime/lemon slices just to get it down. You drank it in shots to get it over with as quickly as possible while your friends in the background were toasting (most were already toasted) “over the lips and through the gums look out stomach here it comes.” It was never consumed for the purpose of culinary advancement as much as it was for studies to see how many shots you could drink and still be standing. You can really do some stupid things at the end of a night tossing back tequila shots. That, however, is another story for a different day, if ever. 😮
As you get older, less able to withstand the stupidity of your youth, and have learned new and safer ways to entertain yourself and others, tequila is reserved for dinner/cocktail parties typically in the form of a margarita. Some people, however, in the course of pickling their brains on tequila shots when younger acquire a taste for tequila. These people sip on their tequila (like I sip on fine bourbon and others with scotch) and describe its flavor profile in terms other than rocket fuel. You will hear descriptions like “initial spice or peppery taste that comes from the agave, then it explodes into an earthy, semi-sweet yet smooth taste;” or “very smooth with sweet cooked agave notes; slight vanilla and cinnamon.” Now, I don’t sip on tequila but I can differentiate between rot-gut, minimalist tequila (“mixto”) and a fine crafted tequila. There really is a discernible difference. So, while I’m not a big fan of drinking tequila, I have found that I like tequila in certain foods. For instance, you can use tequila “en papillote” for making a tasty margarita red snapper. You can use it in gelatin molds like grapefruit, mint and tequila gelatin salad. We like it a lot in Sorbete de Tuna Roja (Red Prickly Pear Sorbet) and Avocado-Lime Ice Cream. In all of these dishes the tequila pleasantly lies in the background providing accent flavors. This dish really brings the tequila to the forefront and showcases it along with the shrimp. Quite a tasty treat unless, of course, you don’t like tequila. If that’s the case then try one of our other recipes instead. 🙂 Also, this dish moves very quickly once you start so make sure you have everything out, pre-measured and easily accessible. If you don’t, it is very easy to overcook the shrimp. Now, this is what we did.
- 2 lbs shrimp (26 to 30 count), peeled and deveined
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup Reposado tequila (use a nice tequila because it will be a predominant flavor of the dish)
- 3/4 cup Mexican crema (you can substitute sour cream but it won’t be the same)
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/4 cup shallot, small dice
- 1 large jalapeño, small dice – roughly 2 Tbsp (use serrano chile if you prefer it spicier)
- 3 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Cooked white rice
- lime slices on the side
- extra cilantro for garnish
Place the shrimp in a bowl and season with salt,
and lime juice
Toss together to incorporate flavors and let them sit for about 5 – 7 minutes. I generally transfer things like this to a zip lock bag to marinate. Just don’t let it sit past 10 minutes or you start making ceviche. 😮
After 5 – 7 minutes, add the oil to a large skillet over medium high heat.
Add the shallots and cook until translucent.
Now add the shrimp
Cook over medium high heat for 3 minutes and add the jalapeños.
Cook 1 minute, add the tequila and flame. Be careful adding the tequila as it is 40% alcohol by volume and is volatile.
Add the cilantro
and the crema.
Stir to incorporate and cook another 1 – 2 minutes to heat the crema and finish cooking the shrimp.
Place a ring of cooked white rice in the center of the plate and spoon the shrimp around the rice making sure to get some of the wonderful sauce in each spoonful.
Sprinkle more chopped cilantro for garnish and serve with lime for squeezing over the shrimp.
Serve & enjoy!