Last month I attended a meet and greet at Chuy’s with a group of area bloggers. We had the most fun tasting food, drinks, and spent a few hours chatting and laughing.
The minute I read the description for the Baja Shrimp Tacos I knew I had to order them. “Baja Tacos – Freshly made flour tortillas with your choice of lightly battered and fried fish or shrimp, cilantro, red cabbage and Creamy Jalapeno sauce”. So simple, yet it appealed to me right away.
My mouth watered when the plate was delivered. They looked so yummy!
And didn’t disappoint! The tacos were excellent. I wanted to go back for lunch the next day, and the day after that and the day after that! But that wasn’t an option. Chuy’s is easily 30-40 minutes away from my home, so no quick takeout for me! Finally, last weekend I was able to take my husband to Chuy’s for lunch and once again, the Baja Shrimp Tacos were just amazing. And once again, I was craving them the very next day… my stomach is growling right now as I type this!
I started playing around with some recipes trying to create a similar Baja Shrimp Taco at home and I think this is a good substitute when I am craving Chuy’s but can’t get out to enjoy it.
Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Jalapeno Sauce
Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine
Vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 cup of buttermilk
48 medium shrimp (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), shelled and deveined
2 1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Freshly ground pepper, to taste (I like a lot of pepper)
Optional: ground chipotle pepper, to taste
12 flour tortillas, warmed (if you have some extra time make your own!)
4 pickled jalapenos, thinly sliced
8 oz queso fresco or mild feta, crumbled
Small red cabbage, shredded
Chuy’s Creamy Jalapeno Lime Sauce (make ahead, recipe below)
Lime wedges, for serving
1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 1/2 inches of vegetable oil to 350°. In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Put the panko, fresh ground & chipotle pepper in another bowl. Coat each shrimp with the panko mixture and fry in batches until golden, about 2 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels. Do not overcook!
2. Spoon some of the cabbage and lettuce into the center of each tortilla and top with 4 fried shrimp. Drizzle with the Jalepeno Cream Sauce and sprinkle with some of the pickled jalapenos and queso fresco. Serve with lime wedges.
Yield 2 Cups
1 1/2 cups ranch dressing [I used Hidden Valley]
1/8 cup green chile, roasted, peeled and seeded (canned ok) [I used serrano chiles]
1/8 cup pickled jalapeno pepper, sliced (from a jar)
3/4 tablespoon lime juice, fresh
1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, fresh, chopped [I only used 1/2 a TBS of Cilantro because I really don’t like Cilantro, but felt the sauce needed it, in this instance.]
1/2 tomato, diced, and seeded (preferably Roma)
Pulse all ingredients in a blender, until smooth.
Chill and use as needed.