Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lemongrass shrimp tacos and cilantro tacos

I'm still trying to get caught up on a million and one old blog posts, so when possible, I'm grouping recipes together. Although these two dishes are quite different, they share a similar trait: I served them both as tacos.

One is more classically Mexican. The other is Vietnamese inspired. Both were delicious!

Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos, from What's Cookin Chicago (as found on Pinterest)

Can't wait to be eating out on a patio again!

2 - 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in bite sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup cilantro lime pesto (recipe follows)
flour or corn tortillas
preferred taco garnishes (salsa, sour cream, roasted peppers, cilantro, cheese, etc)

cilantro lime pesto
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves (do not include stems)
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons almonds, sliced and toasted
1/2 to 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped (the original recipe recommended 3 TBSP garlic- which seemed like a lot for only 3 chicken breasts. I added 2 TBSP and still felt that all I could taste in the entire dish was garlic. So I highly recommend scaling back the garlic. You can always add more to the mixture if you feel it needs more of a garlic kick, but you can never take away the garlic once its been added)
1 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 cup shredded asiago (Parmesan or Romano can be substituted too)
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup chicken broth

  1. Prepare the cilantro lime pesto: using a blender, mix together the cilantro, olive oil, almonds, garlic, lime juice, asiago, salt and chicken broth on low speed for 2 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. In a skillet sprayed with cooking spray, saute chicken over medium high heat and cooked through. 
  3. Toss cooked, seasoned chicken with the pesto. 
Lemongrass and Sriracha (grilled) Shrimp, from Rasa Malaysia

I served these shrimp as tacos (with roasted veggies and avocado), but they would work well eaten on their own as an appetizer with a dipping sauce (see recipe below).
We ran out of gas on the grill, so these were cooked in a pan instead. 
They were good, but I can imagine how much better they'd be grilled.

Makes 6 skewers | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 10 Minutes

6 metal skewers or bamboo kewers (soak in water before using)
Oil, for brushing

Shrimp Marinade
1 lb tiger prawn or jumbo prawn, peeled, deveined, tails intact
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 lemongrass, white part only, grated
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1 (big) clove garlic, finely minced

For Chili-Calamansi Dipping Sauce (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
1 tablespoon water
1/2 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
1 small calamansi, extract the juice (or 1 wedge lime)

  1. Clean the shrimp with cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels and transfer the shrimp into a bowl.
  2. Add all the ingredients in the shrimp marinade into the bowl. Stir to combine well with the shrimp. Marinate for 15 minutes. 
  3. Thread three shrimp into each skewer. Brush the surface of the shrimp with some oil. Grill the shrimp on both sides until they are charred and cooked through. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce (optional).
Buen Provecho,


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