Friday, April 8, 2016

62. Shrimp Tacos with Basil, Sun-Dried Tomato, Feta, and Macadamia Nut Pesto

Shrimp Tacos with Basil, Sun-Dried Tomato, Feta, and Macadamia Nut Pesto Collage

I've been thinking that it's time for another shrimp recipe.  Since I've committed to making 100 taco recipes, it stands to reason that shrimp will be the featured ingredient in more than one of them.  This makes . . . four.  I've made four shrimp taco recipes so far.

Spoiler:  We loved these.  If you love shrimp (as we do), here are my others:

11. Rum-Marinated Shrimp Tacos with Mango-Black Bean Salsa and Crispy Plantain Strips

28. Crispy Shrimp Tacos with Sriracha Sauce, Roasted Red Pepper, and Red Cabbage-Apple Slaw

43. Shrimp and Grits Tacos with Smoked Green Tomato Sauce

You can't go wrong with any of them, really!  :)

I'm not really sure where this new one came from.  I was just in the mood for shrimp.  And pesto.  I thought about doing a southwestern style pesto, (which would definitely be fun), but basil just sounded good today.

A traditional basil pesto usually includes nuts, parmesan cheese, olive oil, and garlic.  I followed that general idea, but used macadamia nuts instead of the more common pine nuts or walnuts.  Why?  Well, there they were in the fridge and so . . . that's how that happened.  Since I also found a package of feta staring me down (and begging to be used), guess what kind of cheese I used?  :) I also added sun-dried tomatoes for a little bit of color and acidity.

Other than the pesto, there's really not much to these!  I topped them with some fresh spinach (lightly dressed) and a sprinkle of extra feta.  They didn't really need anything else!

Since it's Friday, I made some white beans to go on the side.  It was nice to have a side dish.  On a weeknight, it's all I can do to get the tacos made.  Ha ha.

Here's the recipe!  :)

Shrimp Tacos with Basil, Sun-Dried Tomato, Feta, and Macadamia Nut Pesto

Serves 4 (about 12-16 small tacos)

For the shrimp and pesto:

1/4 cup unsalted roasted macadamia nuts
1/4 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes (Mine were not packed in oil.)
1 cup packed basil leaves
1 large clove garlic
4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. butter

Basil, Sun-Dried Tomato, Feta, and Macadamia Nut Pesto Ingredients

About 20 oz. medium shrimp, peeled, deveined (if desired) and tails removed

Raw Wild Caught Medium Shrimp

For the olive oil and balsamic dressed spinach :

2 heaping cups chopped spinach leaves

1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 scant tsp. honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

12 to 16 small (street-taco size) corn tortillas

Mi Rancho Organic Corn Tortilla Sliders for Shrimp Tacos

A few ounces of extra feta cheese for garnish

1.  Prepare the pesto:  Place the macadamia nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped.  Turn the motor on and gradually add 3 tbsp. of the olive oil until the mixture is fairly smooth.  (Since this is a small amount, you may need to stop and scrape down the inside of the container a time or two.)  Add the feta, salt, and red pepper and pulse until the mixture is combined.  Transfer to a small bowl and cover.

Basil, Sun-Dried Tomato, Feta, and Macadamia Nut Pesto

2.  Prepare the shrimp:  Place the shrimp in a medium bowl.  Spoon half of the pesto into the bowl with the shrimp and toss until they are evenly coated.  Cover the shrimp and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 to 60 minutes.  Cover the other half of the pesto and set aside.

Shrimp with Basil, Sun-Dried Tomato, Feta, and Macadamia Nut Pesto

3.  Prepare the tortillas:  Heat the tortillas in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, one by one, until browned but still soft, about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side.  

Corn Tortillas in a Cast Iron Skillet

As the tortillas are done, stack them on a sheet of foil.  When they are all finished, wrap them in the foil.  You can keep them warm in a 250 degree oven if you wish!

4.  Cook the shrimp:  Heat the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the shrimp and stir, cooking until almost done, about 3 minutes.  Add the rest of the pesto and toss with the shrimp for another minute or two until heated through.  Remove from the heat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover to keep warm.

5.  While the shrimp is cooking, prepare the spinach:  Place the chopped spinach in a medium bowl and add the oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey.  Toss until well combined.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6.  Assemble the tacos:  For each taco, place a tortilla on a plate.  Place several shrimp down the center of each tortilla.  Top with some of the spinach.  Finish with a sprinkle of the extra feta.  Enjoy!

Shrimp Tacos with Basil, Sun-Dried Tomato, Feta, and Macadamia Nut Pesto

Well, I'm not sure what these were, really . . . Italian?  Greek?  The macadamia nuts throw those theories off a little bit, right?  Hmmm.  Let's call them Mediterranean-ish.  O.o

We really enjoyed them!  The richness of the macadamia nuts definitely came through, but pine nuts or walnuts would also work really well.

This was definitely an eclectic mix with the corn tortillas and Mediterranean flavors (and the macadamias), but it worked.  I also appreciated how easy these were to throw together.  If you can find small, peeled, deveined shrimp, you're in luck!  You hardly have to do anything!  :)

The beans took a lot longer than the tacos.  Ha ha.

Well, this will definitely go on my "must do again" list.  Someday.  When I'm done with this project.  When I can actually make a recipe more than once without getting behind.  

If you ever think an ambitious, long-term project is a good way to kick off a blog . . . well.

. . .

It is.  And it isn't.  And sometimes it's really fun.  And sometimes it's really not fun.  And I had no idea what I was getting into.  It's way too late for all of that, though.  I have to finish.  I'm so close.  Well, depending on how you look at it!  :)

Shrimp Tacos with Basil, Sun-Dried Tomato, Feta, and Macadamia Nut Pesto

38 more to go!

Feel free to comment on this recipe!  Did you try them?  What did you think?

Thanks for reading! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear what you think! Please comment! :)