Sometimes, I cook for the children.
Sometimes, I cook for myself.
Sometimes — when I know the man has had a rough week, working both at work and at home to provide all our family needs (and then some) — I cook for The Husband.
We all have our comfort foods and for my husband, it nearly always involves either Thai food or Tex-Mex. And last week, the boy needed Tex-Mex from his favorite restaurant, Los Cucos.
He loves the place and their fish tacos. It’s the only thing he EVER gets and, after I asked if he had any requests for dinner, the Husband was quick to bring them up, asking if I could figure out a way to recreate the tacos and the luxurious, creamy lemon sauce that covers the fish.
I nodded but was distracted by a local grocery store mailer … a sales flyer that was announcing the start of Texas Gulf Coast Shrimp season.
The idea was born at that moment; we would transform a family-favorite recipe — grilled shrimp — into a new version of The Husband’s favorite dish. Like at Los Cucos, the crunch of shredded cabbage would join the lemon sauce, the bright cilantro, and create a dish worthy of company but with all the comfort of a home-cooked meal.
The first taste-test of the lemon sauce told me all I needed to know … this. was. going. to. be. unbelievable.
Folks, I don’t say this to brag. I don’t say this to exaggerate. I say this because it is 100% true: these tacos are the absolute best recipe on this blog!!!!!!!
These Grilled Shrimp Tacos with a Creamy Lemon Sauce are MY* new favorite comfort food; over the past two weeks, we’ve had this recipe several times as I tweaked and perfected the balance of spices on the shrimp and the flavors of the lemon sauce.
The hardest part of this recipe is cleaning and shelling the shrimp. I hand that task over to The Husband. I figure it’s a small price to pay for me to fix the most amazing taco recipe ever. While he cleans and then seasons them, I work on the sauce. The sauce isn’t difficult — it’s simply a matter of cooking down a few ingredients . . . and then trying NOT to grab a spoon and slurp all the luscious goodness down before the shrimp is ready.
It’s –literally — awesome-sauce.
So, spend thirty minutes in the kitchen with your significant other and then set yourselves down for a meal where every. single. ingredient. comes together for a near religious experience.
*Grain-Free/Primal Option: The Husband still eats everything with a corn tortilla, as shown in this post (actually, that was his plate I photographed!); for me, I either use Stupid Easy Paleo’s Simple Paleo Tortillas OR omit any kind of tortilla and simply serve the shrimp, sauce, cilantro and cheese on top of a bed of cabbage. It’s good eats either way!
- 1 pound Shrimp
- 2-3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked Black Pepper
- Dash Cayenne powder
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- ¼ cup very finely minced White Onion
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- ½ cup White Wine (cooking wine will work for non-alcoholic households)
- Juice of 1 Lemon, divided into equal parts (roughly a tablespoon each)
- ½ cup Half-and-Half
- Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
- Shredded Red and Green Cabbage
- Queso Fresco (crumbly Mexican cheese)
- Corn Tortillas*
- Prepare your grill and heat to medium-high.
- Mix the spices for the shrimp together and then set aside.
- Clean and shell the shrimp. Toss shrimp with olive oil, and then sprinkle with the spices. Toss again to coat thoroughly.
- Lay the shrimp on a grill pan and then place the pan on your grill.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp begin to turn pink.
- Flip each shrimp and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the shrimp from the grill to a plate.
- In a saute pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the finely minced onion.
- Cook, stirring often, till the onions have softened and have begun to brown.
- Add the minced garlic and stir till fragrant (30-60 seconds).
- Raise the heat to medium and pour in ½ of the lemon juice and the white wine. Bring to a light boil, stirring occasionally, till the liquid has reduced by half.
- Lower the heat to low, add the reserved lemon juice and then gently stir in the half and half. Continue stirring till the sauce has thickened. Season with cracked black pepper, to taste.
- Remove from heat and serve.
- Heat corn tortillas*.
- Place a few tablespoons of shredded cabbage on top of a tortilla.
- Put 2-3 shrimp atop the bed of cabbage.
- Pour lemon sauce on top, followed by fresh cilantro and queso fresco. Enjoy!
When you are making the sauce, you can (if you aren't fan of the onion pieces or have picky eaters) use a blender or immersion blender to puree the the onions and sauce (just before you add the reserved lemon juice and wine).