Hey…it’s Taco Tuesday! Time for some awesome spicy grilled shrimp tacos. Okay, it was Tuesday when Mary Jo and I had these spicy tacos last night. This recipe is the perfect seasoning for grilled shrimp and these tacos are great.
Prescott Wisconsin is the town at the intersection of the St. Croix River and the Mississippi River. Up above the marina slips that line the banks of the eastern side of the St. Croix, is a little bar with an outdoor patio that seats maybe 20 to 30 people. It is this little bar that has been serving perfectly seasoned grilled shrimp for the past 8 years or so, and is one of the best places to watch boats and trains. Mary Jo and I will order up 3 or 4 shrimp apiece and an ice cold Corona and sit back in the sun and take in the scenery. Ever since we first went to this little bar, I’ve asked what the seasoning was that they used for their shrimp and the owner won’t even give a hint. Their seasoning is perfect. They also don’t grill the shrimp, but rather use a toaster oven to cook their shrimp. Anyway, the shrimp and the view make this a go-to place on the river.
I’ve finally found a seasoning blend that rivals the one used at the little bar in Prescott. It doesn’t contain Old Bay seasoning or any other store bought blends. Just straight forward individual seasonings that everyone usually has. If you don’t have some of the seasonings, check out Penzey’s, my source of most of the spices I use. (Mary Jo is the one who orders these and I think she has Penzey’s on speed dial or as homepage on her computer).
I mixed up some of this shrimp seasoning last week when my daughter Katy was visiting and I made my garlic and citrus shrimp with pasta but I also set aside several shrimp to grill as an appetizer before making the entree. They turned out great. The cayenne pepper makes them a little more spicy than Minnesota spicy…more like Southwest spicy, which is a good thing!
Gulf shrimp is always on our menu, (as you can tell by the number of shrimp recipes I’ve done lately), and this awesome spice rub is perfect for shrimp tacos. I mixed up a simple cabbage slaw of red and green cabbage, (about three cups total), sliced green onion and a 1/4 cup or so of chopped cilantro. I then squeezed the juice of 1 lime on the slaw and added a pinch of salt. I like my tacos made with flour tortillas, but use corn tortillas, if you prefer. Use a grill pan on high heat to slightly warm the tortillas, 20 to 30 seconds a side, it will make a huge difference in the flavor of your tacos.
The avocado sauce was a really nice flavor booster to the tacos and is easy to make in a food processor. You can really use whatever you like for these tacos, but do not substitute any seasonings for the shrimp. IMHO these are Prescott worthy and perfect! Try some awesome spicy grilled shrimp tacos for yourself.
Shrimp seasoning (makes enough for 4 to 5 dozen shrimp)
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp mustard powder
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
Avocado sauce (makes enough for 4 tacos)
- 1 ripe haas avocado
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 jalapeno pepper , seeds removed and coarse chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 small onion
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- 3 large shrimp , per taco, peeled and deveined
- tortilla shells , flour or corn
- cabbage slaw , (shredded cabbage, scallions, cilantro, juice of 1 lime, pinch of salt)
- chopped plum tomatoes
- Mix all ingredients in a small bowl, then store in a small Ziplock bag in your freezer
- Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, 20 seconds or so
- Place shrimp on a plate, drizzle with olive oil, turn to coat both sides.
- Sprinkle both sides of the shrimp with the seasoning.
- Grill on medium high heat for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side until the shrimp is just cooked through.
- Slightly brown the tortilla shells on a hot griddle pan.
- Assemble tacos with the avocado sauce, cabbage slaw, chopped tomatoes and shrimp.
- Serve warm