It’s National Taco Day, which means we’re all going to Taco Bell! If I might suggest something better though, try making these tequila marinaded Drunken Shrimp Tacos. It takes longer on the front end, but they’re much easier on the back end.
Drunken Tacos is one of the more ingredient heavy recipes we’ve featured at the Guyism Grill, if you can believe that, but they’re still very simple to make.
Aside from the tequila, the pink mayo might be the best part of the whole recipe. When your nearby grocery store is terrible though, you have to get a bit creative. I knew I wasn’t going to find Mexican crema, so I did what any guy would have done. I went to Qdoba the night before and got a side of sour cream. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box.
I also happened to have a tiny bottle of agave lying around thanks to an Altos tequila care package, but it’s also not tough to track down. I recommend always keeping it on hand for making cocktails. It’s definitely the way to go if you like a little extra sweetness in your margarita.
The recipe calls for uncooked shrimp, but thanks to the aforementioned mediocre store, I could only find precooked. Upside: they’re already clean. Downside: gotta be careful not to completely kill them again. It’s not like they’re zombie shrimp. I let them thaw and then put them on a hot grill for 20 seconds per side. That way they were warm but not overcooked.
This is when things start to get crazy. Heat a tortilla on one side for 30 seconds. Flip it. Then sprinkle Parmesan on the side facing up. After 30 seconds, and this is going to sound crazy, flip the tortilla again so it’s cheese side down. Let the cheese toast for 15-20 seconds.
You might think all will be lost when you try to take it out of the pan, but I assure you, the cheese really wants to stick to the tortilla, not the pan. Don’t mind all that burned cheese on the pan. That’s just from my long-shot sprinkle technique. Sometimes you just have to test your distance skills.
Now just arrange your dinner so you look like a real person, and you’re good to go. I was very tempted to build tacos one at a time next to the stove as a new tortilla was done, but something told me I should make it look presentable. Whether I succeeded or not is a different story.
Had I not taken all these photos along the way, I would not be willing to believe I made the tacos. They really are that good, with no credit going to myself. The tequila in the marinade gives them a noticeable kick, but you could never put your finger on it being tequila. the toasted cheese on the tortilla (face-up when building) is incredible. I don’t understand why that isn’t standard practice. It’s like a nacho built into your taco. And the spicy pink mayo is better than any salsa you could put on them. Yes, even Fire Sauce.
I brainstorm and scour the internet for crazy or delicious concoctions to make for the Guyism Grill. I should have known to just look to the original Guy, Fieri. This is his recipe with a few of my own shortcut alterations. I’m including the original recipe though in case you want to do you cookin’ by the book.
- 2 tablespoons white tequila
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lime, juiced, plus 2 limes cut into wedges
- Canola oil
- 32 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Spicy Pink Mayo:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup Mexican crema
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon light agave
- 1 chipotle pepper, minced, plus 1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce (add more if you like it spicy)
- Kosher salt
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 16 corn tortillas
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan
- 2 vine tomatoes, diced
- 3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- Cotija cheese
- Lime wedges
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- For the spicy pink mayo: Combine the mayonnaise, Mexican crema, lime juice, agave, chipotle and adobo sauce and some salt in a mixing bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- For the shrimp: Soak 8 bamboo skewers in water, if grilling over an open flame (or use metal skewers).
- Begin by making a quick marinade. In a large mixing bowl, combine the tequila, cumin, paprika, cayenne, garlic, lime juice and a little canola oil. Add the shrimp and toss well to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Take the skewers and thread 4 shrimp per skewer.
- Heat up a grill, grill pan or flat top. Place the shrimp skewers on the grill and cook until pink, well-marked and nicely charred, 40 to 50 seconds. Remove from the grill and set on a large platter. Add the cilantro and finish by squeezing the lime wedges for some fresh lime juice all over (while the shrimp are warm they will soak up the lime flavor).
- For the tacos: Take a large nonstick saute pan (or on a flat grill top) and spray lightly with some nonstick cooking spray. Warm a tortilla for about 30 seconds on both sides, and then lightly coat one side with a sprinkle of Parmesan. Warm through, and then flip so it toasts cheese side down. Allow the cheese to cook and brown about 15 seconds, and then remove from pan. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
- To assemble: Place a skewer of shrimp on a doubled-up tortilla (cheese side up) and remove the skewer to leave the shrimp lined up in a row. Top with the diced tomato, iceberg, Cotija cheese, spicy pink mayo, lime and cilantro. Serve with beans.