We used to have a Baja Fresh right around the corner, and I loved their shrimp soft tacos. I was crushed when it closed! It was kind of like an upgraded Taco Bell, with food that you could feel a little better about eating (not to knock Taco Bell…I have been known to eat there, too!). We used to go to Baja Fresh after church on Saturday evenings and have a nice, quick, affordable dinner. Even though it was basically a fast food place, they would take your order, tell you to go ahead and find a table, and then they would bring tortilla chips over for you to munch on while you waited for your food. The best part was the salsa bar! They had all kinds of salsa options, and you could help yourself to all of them if you wanted. They also had a container of chopped cilantro, which I always dug into enthusiastically. (I love cilantro!) We would sit with our chips and our drinks, and chew happily until our food was ready. I remember the shrimp soft tacos were always so flavorful and delicious, and they were never skimpy with the shrimp.
I don’t know why they closed (the chain still exists, just not the location near us), but I decided that I wanted to make my own shrimp soft taco since I couldn’t get them from Baja Fresh anymore. Unfortunately, the place near us closed quite a while ago, and my memory isn’t good enough for me to really say whether or not this recipe is a good imitation. However, it was delicious, so I am not too concerned either way! I imagine Baja Fresh did not cook their shrimp in beer, and I know they did not use asparagus, but this is my recipe so I made it the way I wanted! 🙂
I must mention that Thing 2 did not like this dinner much. He doesn’t like cilantro and he doesn’t like chipotle. But, sometimes it is necessary to serve food that Thing 2 doesn’t like, in the name of keeping a little variety going on around here! I also think it is important for Thing 2 to keep trying different flavors and textures. Sometimes he surprises me (and himself) when he finds he likes something that he didn’t used to like. So we will keep trying these sorts of dishes from time to time, and I might even write about them if the rest of us like them, even if Thing 2 does not totally approve! I must admit, he is a good sport about it and tries just about everything with a little encouragement!
- 12-16 ounces fresh asparagus (I cut the tips off for this recipe and used the rest of the stalks for another meal)
- 1 can light beer
- 12-16 ounces shrimp, fresh or frozen and thawed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder (more to taste, if you really like chipotle!)
- ⅓ cup cilantro
- 4 whole wheat tortillas, soft taco size
- shredded spinach (or lettuce)
- 1 avocado (optional)
- sour cream (optional)
- Bring a medium pot of water to boiling. Add the asparagus tips for about 30 seconds. Drain and rinse the asparagus with cool water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
- Pour the beer into a large skillet and heat over medium-high. Add the shrimp and cook until they just turn pink throughout.
- Drain the shrimp and set aside.
- In the same skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onion. Cook until the onion is translucent.
- Add the shrimp and asparagus in the with onion and stir.
- Add the lime juice and chipotle powder, and stir until distributed.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in the cilantro.
- Line the middle of each tortilla with the shredded spinach, then distribute the shrimp-asparagus mixture over the spinach.
- Top with avocado and sour cream and serve!
- Web’s Best: Taco Recipes (coolmaterial.com)
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