Want a break from cooking a time consuming and complicated family dinner? Try these fast and flavorful meals from Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, also know as "Too Hot Tamales." The longtime collaborators (they are the chefs and co-owners behind Border Grill, among other projects) are sharing their recipes for chile lime shrimp tacos, squash and carrot bisque and crispy tortillas.
Chile lime shrimp tacos
- 1 pound 16/20 shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoons cayenne
- 8 small flour or corn tortillas for building tacos
- 2 cucumbers, skin on, fine julienne on mandolin
- 1/4 cup medium carrots, peeled, fine julienne (or cabbage)
- 6 red radishes, fine julienne
- 1/2 cup bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 avocado, seeded, peeled and sliced into wedges
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1-2 habanero chiles, seeded, stemmed and minced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Soak bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes.
Skewer shrimp lengthwise on skewer, piercing the tail first and sliding down all the way. Mix salt, paprika and cayenne and sprinkle evenly over shrimp and set in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Toss cucumber, radish and carrots with chopped cilantro and reserve.
Mix Habanero Mojo ingredients together and reserve.
To assemble tacos: Grill or broil shrimp on their skewers (this keeps them straight) until just barely cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.
Remove skewers and place two cooked shrimp on each tortilla (warmed in a pan and held in a towel until all is ready). Toss the cucumber mixture with the mojo and mound this generously on each taco. Top with a slice of avocado and serve immediately.
Squash and carrot bisque
Makes 7 ounces each, 10 servings
- 1 kabocha squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), cut in half, seeds removed (acorn, butternut, delicate are also fine)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons paprika (sweet, spicy or smoked: to your taste)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 medium onions, sliced (about 2 cups)
- 5 cups fresh carrot juice, from the refrigerated section
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup chile lime pepitas (see recipe)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat squash halves with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season liberally with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with the paprika of your choice. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil with cut side facing up. Place garlic cloves and thyme sprigs in each seed hollow. Roast until completely tender and lightly browned in spots, about 45-60 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Discard thyme stems, keeping the leaves and carefully scrape flesh away from skin. Discard skin.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until completely tender and nicely browned, about 15 minutes total. Add cooked squash flesh (discarding the skin) along with garlic cloves and thyme leaves. Stir to combine. Add carrot juice and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, skimming and discarding the foam. Remove from heat and blend until smooth.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve piping hot, garnishing with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a generous pinch of chopped cilantro and 1 tablespoon spiced pepitas per bowl and crispy flour tortilla flatbreads.
Spiced pepitas (for the Bisque)
Makes 1/2 cup, 10 servings
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste
- A pinch of cayenne, to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup raw pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds), unsalted
In a small bowl, combine lime juice, cayenne, salt, and pepper and stir until dissolved. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add pepitas and toast, tossing frequently, until seeds begin to expand and turn a light golden color. Add seasoned lime juice and stir well to coat all seeds. Remove from heat and cool in the pan. Serve at room temperature.
Crispy flour tortilla flatbreads
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 12" flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Dissolve salt in lime juice, and then stir in paprika, cayenne and oil.
Brush 1 side of each tortilla with oil lime mixture. Cut each tortilla into 8-10" long, thin triangles with a sharp knife. Bake until crisp and lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes total. Transfer to racks to cool.