Camarones is Spanish for shrimp. They range from tiny bay shrimp to medium transparent ones with tails that swing up in the air to ones as big as your fist—the giant camarones of Mexico. Shrimp find their way into tortillas in more forms than you can count—fried, breaded, steamed, in garlic, in butter, in Ranchero Sauce, and in Salsa Verde. We find the flavor of shrimp so subtly delicious unadorned, we avoid anything that would overwhelm the shrimp itself. In our basic shrimp taco, we merely finesse the delicate flesh with a few strips of mild yellow bell pepper and a light lemon-chili cream we have created just for shrimp.
- 3½ pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, tails removed, and deveined
- ¼ cup olive or peanut oil
- Salt, to taste
- 18 corn or 12 flour tortillas, warmed or crisped just before serving
- 2 cups Lemon-Chili Cream Sauce (recipe follows)
- 3 large yellow bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into very thin l½-inch-long strips
- 4 cups shredded lettuce
- 1 yellow wax chili pepper, stemmed and minced
- 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
- 2 tablespoons pure chili powder
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon Juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
1. Rinse the shrimp and pat them dry.
2. Place half of the oil in a large frying pan and set over medium-high heat until the oil begins to smoke. (Or use 2 pans and cook the shrimp in 1 round.) Add half of the shrimp and salt liberally. Stir just until the shrimp are white in the centers, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the heat and set aside in a warm place. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
3. To assemble, place about 1/3 cup of the shrimp in the center of a tortilla. Top with Lemon-Chili Cream Sauce, yellow bell pepper strips, and shredded lettuce. Fold and serve.
Lemon Chili Cream Sauce
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a nonreactive medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 5 minutes.
2. Use right away, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week, May be reheated to serve warm, or serve chilled.
Makes 2 cups