In an effort to ensure that we get our families together once a month, my friend Christina and I have created a bit of a unique family dinner party. The interesting aspect is that whoever is hosting the get together doesn’t actually have to do the heavy cooking. The host obviously provides the home but also appetizers, drinks and dessert while the guest brings the main meal. Somehow, it seems to lessen the burden of hosting a fully home cooked meal, which often takes an entire day of prep… shopping, cooking and cleaning. In this way, we’ve managed to keep up our monthly dinners for well over a year. It also keeps us amused that our unconventional arrangement continues to baffle our husbands.
Below are the recipes I used for our Southwest Shrimp Taco Night.
adapted from Southern Living, August 2008
Southwestern Citrus Shrimp Tacos
2 pounds peeled, deveined shrimp
10-12 12″ skewers (I prefer metal but if you use wood ones make sure to pre-soak them to avoid burning)
2 tablespoons Southwest Seasonings (I use Emeril’s Southwest Essence)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup lime juice
3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Thread shrimp onto skewers and place in a long shallow dish.
- Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high). Combine Southwest seasoning, garlic and citrus juice in a bowl. Whisk together. Pour over skewers. Cover and chill 10-30 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade and discard marinade.
- Grill shrimp, without grill lid, 2 to 3 minutes on each side or just until shrimp turn pink. I like to serve the shrimp still on their skewers.
Southwest Cream Sauce
1 (16 oz.) container sour cream
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Whisk together sour cream, garlic, red onion, chili powder, cumin, ground red pepper and salt.
- Whisk in lime juice until smooth.
- Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad
3 ears fresh corn, in husks
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
2 (15 oz. cans) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Hot Sauce, to taste (I prefer Tapatio)
2 avocados, roughly chopped
- Preheat grill to 450° (medium-high). Pull off top tassel from corn, leaving the rest of the husk in tact. Submerge and soak corn in water for approximately 1 hour.
- Grill corn in husks, covered with grill lid, approximately 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Remove from grill; cool 15 minutes then remove husks and silks.
- Hold each grilled cob upright on a cutting board; carefully cut downward, cutting kernels from cob. Discard cobs; place kernels in a large bowl. Gently stir in tomatoes and next 6 ingredients. Add hot sauce to your desired potency. Cover and chill until ready to serve, if desired.
- If chilled, let corn mixture stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Peel and chop avocados; toss with corn mixture just before serving.
Serve the Above with the Following:
- Lime wedges
- Shredded Radicchio & Iceberg Lettuce
- Cilantro garnish
- Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
- Flour and/or Corn Tortillas
- Spanish Rice (I like Near East Spanish Rice Pilaf)
- Mexican Beer & lime (my favorites are Pacifico Clara and Corona)
Throw in great friends and family and enjoy your own Southwest Shrimp Taco Fiesta!