Imagine the most beautiful place you could ever eat shrimp. Now believe me when I tell you that I got to eat there! Earlier this year, Ryan and I had the amazing opportunity to spend a week in Maui with my entire family. It was a minor miracle that we all made it there at the same time – trying to coordinate the work schedules of nine people so that they can go on vacation together is a real feat! But it absolutely could not have been more perfect. It was my first visit to Hawaii, but now I understand why people refer to it as "paradise." The flights may be long, but it was worth it to spend a week basking in sunshine, reading by the pool, boogie boarding in the ocean, watching whales leap and splash, walking along the coast and eating lots and lots of fresh seafood.
Naturally, because Hawaii is an island, seafood is a staple at all local restaurants. Mahi mahi, ahi tuna, and shrimp appear in abundance. One of the tastiest things I ate on our vacation were enormous coconut-crusted shrimp. Mmm! Just thinking about the sweet coating on those shrimp makes me hungry. So, in an effort to bring back memories of that salty air and balmy weather, I recently made Sweet and Spicy Baked Shrimp Tacos at home. The combination of sugar and spice fit right in with the sort of fares we enjoyed on our vacation. Plus, with so little effort required to prepare this meal, you just might find time to put your feet up and press "play" on your CD of "Golden Hawaii Hits" (Yes, I have one of those. Doesn’t everyone?).
For your own beach-inspired meal, it’s first things first: heat your oven to 500°F.
I like to chill the taco sauce for a nice contrast with the warm shrimp inside, so I prep that next. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, chili powder, lime juice and chopped fresh cilantro.
Once the sauce is mixed, cover it with some plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to cool until the tacos are ready to serve.
Now get your spice mixture together. In a small bowl, combine the white sugar, brown sugar, flour, plain breadcrumbs, ground allspice, black pepper, red pepper (a.k.a. cayenne pepper), garlic powder and ground ginger.
I like to use peeled, deveined shrimp that I buy in a bag at the grocery store – it’s so easy! This kind came pre-cooked, though raw shrimp works great. I just removed the tails and rinsed the shrimp. Then I set up a little assembly line for the shrimp. Start by placing the shrimp in melted butter, then drop the buttered shrimp in your bowl of spices to coat them. Finally, place the shrimp in rows on a foil-wrapped pan (easy clean up!).
Place the pan of shrimp in your preheated oven and bake for 5-6 minutes. If you used raw shrimp, you want to make sure that they cook long enough to turn pink – which means they are baked through. The coating will get nice and bubbly.
As soon as the shrimp are done baking, it’s time to assemble your tacos. Just take a warm tortilla shell and fill it with shrimp, coleslaw mix and top with your cool sour cream sauce. You’re done!
These Sweet & Spicy Baked Shrimp Tacos will be giving you visions of sunshine and surf. Make them at home, then rate and review the recipe.
Come back in a few days when I will share a very special cupcake recipe.
Amanda is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.