After chowing down on those ribs I told you about earlier this week I was really in the mood for a lighter meal. My mom brought me a recipe for shrimp tacos she’d found while perusing the newspaper. She knows how much I love shrimp and thought I would enjoy the recipe. After I read the recipe all I could think about was shrimp tacos.
Off to the store I went for shrimp, corn tortillas, fresh cilantro and limes. Growing up in southeast Texas near the gulf coast I learned to peel a shrimp in no time flat at an early age. To this day I can peel a pound before my helper can peel half a dozen! It’s one of those tasks I could do with my eyes closed. My Dad rarely came home with less than 5# of fresh gulf shrimp, needing to be peeled before being boiled, steamed, or thrown into gumbo. Of course he needed a helper to peel them and I was the chosen one.
On this occasion I favored unpeeled shrimp. I decided to boil them in the shell, making for a leisurely dinner of peeling our shrimp, drinking cold beer and then building our tacos. I chose to accompany the shellfish tacos with a watermelon and jicima salsa. It all sounded utterly light and refreshing, just what I had in mind that day. It is a little messy to have folks sitting around peeling shrimp but it sure made for a relaxing and pleasing light summer meal. The blending of the juicy melons, crunchy jicima, fresh lime, cilantro, and a tiny bite from the jalapeño make this a welcome departure from the usual salsa suspects. Serve a small bowl of it with chips as an appetizer
I’ll tell you here how I prepared the shrimp and below give you the recipe for the salsa. We were all so ravenous that I wasn’t able to get a shot of the finished tacos – but you know what a taco looks like.
Shrimp: Fill a large pot with water; add 2 tablespoons of Old Bay Seasoning, (or your favorite seafood boil). Bring to a boil and add 1# fresh unpeeled shrimp. Boil until shrimp turn pink – being sure not to boil too long, which will cause the shrimp to become tough. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. They are now ready for the taco bar!
Watermelon & Jicima Salsa
1 cup watermelon, peeled, seeded and diced (or buy seedless)
1 cup honeydew, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup jicima, peeled and diced
2 Tbs. green onions, sliced thin
2 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced ( be sure to wear rubber gloves)
Dash of salt
In medium bowl combine all ingredients, toss gently. Serve at room temperature or chill.