“Taco Tuesday” has never been easier…or faster for that matter
I love Tacos and I am particularly fond of Shrimp Tacos since I ate my first one at our local Taqueria, El Mitote (208 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10023 Phone: (212) 874-2929). There, the subtle heat of the taco, the slight crunch, the mandatory spritz of lime juice is so beguiling that the complete mess that inevitably lands on your plate is a small price to pay. So, when I first came across the prototype for this recipe, I was hooked. It used a sheet pan, a cooking method that has gained so much traction recently, at least ten cookbooks came out just last year featuring nothing but. That doesn’t count another raft of “One Pan” cookbooks featuring sheet pan recipes. I have to admit that, in addition to cutting down on clean-up, there’s a lot to recommend the sheet pan supper. Especially this one.
Roast the shrimp for just minutes then tuck them into warm tacos.
Fragrant with cumin and chili powder, the line-caught Argentine Shrimp from Trader Joe’s were roasted for a few minutes then put atop corn tortillas warmed in the oven at the same time the shrimp is cooked. I threw a bit of a wrench into the timing by cutting a red onion into wedges tossing them in olive oil before putting them on the sheet pan. The onions needed 10 more minutes to cook before the shrimp even hit the sheet pan. I cheated on a crunchy cabbage slaw. Mine came pre-shredded from Trader Joe’s. Tossed with a couple of dollops of Marie’s Creamy Chipotle Ranch Dressing, I made the slaw while the red onion got a head start on the shrimp. A creamy avocado and sour cream rounded out our Shrimp Taco Tuesday.
Just exactly where did Taco Tuesday come from?
Exactly where did Taco Tuesday get its start? Though it’s ubiquitous in Southern California, “Taco Tuesday” got its start in New Jersey. In 1982, a place called Gregory’s Restaurant and Bar in the Jersey Shore town of Somer’s Point trademarked the term. Seven years later, Taco John’s, a Wyoming based fast-food chain was granted a trademark of Taco Tuesday for the rest of the country except New Jersey. They have vigorously defended their trademark but they’ve been less than successful. The Los Angeles Laker’s basketball player LeBron James tried to trademark “Taco Tuesdays” after he’d posted his family’s Tuesday night tradition on Instagram. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied LeBron’s request saying that Taco Tuesday was “a commonplace term, message or expression widely used by a variety of sources that merely conveys an ordinary, familiar, well-recognized concept or sentiment.” Taco Tuesday now belongs in the lexicon despite Taco John’s objections. Here’s the recipe and after it, a couple of other Tacos to try Tuesday or any other night of the week.
Make these Shrimp Tacos as spicy or as mild as you like them. Serve them on warm Corn Tacos heated at the same time.
- For the tacos:
- Cooking spray
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 pound uncooked peeled and deveined medium shrimp
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (from 1 lime)
- 1 Red Onion cut into 8 wedges (Optional)
- For serving:
- Easy Taco Slaw
- 1 medium avocado, sliced
- Sour cream
- Lime wedges
- Step 1 Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Cover a sheet pan with Parchment Paper. Lightly coat the paper with cooking spray.
- Step 2 If using the Red Onion, put the wedges on the parchment paper and place in the oven for ten minutes
- Step 3 Place a large sheet of aluminum foil on a work surface. Stack the tortillas on top and wrap completely in the foil. After the onions have cooked for 10 minutes, place the foil packet of tortillas on one corner of the baking sheet.
- Step 4 Pat the shrimp dry and put them in a large bowl. Season with the cumin, chili powder, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss to combine and spread in an even layer on the parchment paper.
- Step 5 Roast until the shrimp are opaque and pink, stirring halfway through, 6 to 8 minutes total. Remove to a serving platter. Drizzle the cooked shrimp with the lime juice.
- Step 6 Fill the tortillas with the roasted shrimp and top with the slaw, avocado, sour cream and red onion. Serve with lime wedges.