This dinner is exactly what happens when you’re quarantined with your parents during an international pandemic. Here’s how it all went down: a plethora of frozen shrimp and a newly purchased tank of propane (shout out dad) calls for one meal and one meal only--grilled shrimp tacos! Even though the grocery store was looking pretty bleak, we were able to find some tomatoes and fresh pineapple, so I whipped up a simple pico de gallo and grilled the pineapple.
However, due to some lapses in our current supply chain, we had to make some swaps in a pinch. No red onions meant that I used shallots in the pico (it was still delish!). An absence of avocados meant we had to opt for a product that in any other circumstance I would consider to be abhorrent--store bought guacamole. It was fine, and was a good reminder that yes, I am stubborn and bougie. I also kept the whole dish sans-spice because the woman who birthed me can barely handle medium salsa. However if I were just cooking for myself, I’d probably crank the shrimp with some cayenne and toss in some jalapeños to the pico.
One trick that I use when I grill shrimp is to pierce each individual shrimp twice (one closer to the tail and one closer to the head) and arrange them so that each shrimp is touching. This way, they are secure on the skewer and won't twirl around when you go to flip the skewer on the grill. I always use canola or a neutral oil (high heat!). Your grill should be hot enough that when you lay the shrimp down on the grates, you hear a sizzle. I immediately close the grill and let them cook for about 2 minutes. This will not only impart a smoky flavor and create a deep char, but the shrimp will cook just enough that they won't stick to the grates when you go to flip them. I give 'em about another minute or two on the second side and they're good to go!
All of this to say is that tacos are a great option for slightly-panicked cooking. You can always substitute ingredients or find a way to use up what you have. When life gives you frozen shrimp, you better grill it, and when life doesn't give you avocados, you better suck up your ego and just buy storebought guacamole.
For the pico de gallo:
- 2 plum tomatoes, cored and diced
- 1/ 4 cup fresh cilanto, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- Kosher salt, To taste
- Black peppercorns, freshly ground, to taste
For the pineapple:
- 1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced in planks
- 2 tablespoons La Tourangelle Organic Canola Oil
- Kosher salt,
- Corn tortillas
- Sliced radishes
- Sour cream
- Fresh lime slices
Make the pico. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and season to taste.
Preheat a grill to medium high heat. Brush pineapple planks with oil. Arrange shrimp on a skewer (piercing each individual shrimp twice with a skewing to avoid twisting). Brush both sides with oil and season both sides with paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper.
Arrange pineapple planks on grill and cook with grill covered until charred and softened, about 8 minutes per side. Remove from grill and chop into 1-inch cubes.
Meanwhile, arrange shrimp skewers on grill and cook covered until charred and pink, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from grill.
Warm tortillas and arrange tacos with shrimp, pineapple, pico, and desired toppings. Serve immediately.