I love tacos. I mean really love tacos. It's an unhealthy obsession with tacos. My dad claims that I could eat six tacos as a kid. A very picky kid who barely ate anything because everything was gross. But tacos and me? Like two peas in pod.
I am so happy that Darius loves tacos too. He can eat two (sometimes even three) which is huge for my "three bites and I'm crying that I'm full" child. The best part about tacos is that they are done in no time. You can have homemade tacos on everyone's plate in less than 15 minutes.
I make a giant side dish of Spanish rice to go with my tacos. Everyone who has tried this rice, LOVES this rice. I will say that for rice it's a bit more complicated that I would like to see. But it's worth it. The rice will bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, so you must use an oven-safe pot with tight fitting lid for this recipe.
For the Tacos, you'll need:
- 1 and 1/2 pounds uncooked (peeled, de-veined, tails removed) shrimp
- 1 tsp oil
- 1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, garlic powder, and ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp each of salt, pepper, and cayenne (optional if you don't want spicy)
- 10-15 taco shells (I buy organic corn shells from Trader Joe's). Use whatever you prefer.
- All your favorite taco fixins. In our house that's guacamole, corn, lettuce, and cheese (and hot sauce for those of us who want an extra kick)
For the Spanish Rice, you'll need:
- 2 cups long-grain rice
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 jalapeno pepper (optional)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium onion
- 3-4 ripe tomatoes (can substitute for one can of diced tomatoes)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 cups of chicken broth (can substitute with veggie broth or plain water)
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350.
In your food processor, combine the jalapeno, garlic, onion, and tomato. Pulse until totally pureed. You may want to rough chop the ingredients into chunky pieces to aid in the process. You need 2 cups of puree.
Over medium high heat, pour your rice and oil into an oven-safe pot (I use a LeCrueset dutch oven). Cook the rice until is it nicely golden brown. Add the chicken broth, salt, and puree mixture. Bring to a boil then cover and place in the oven for 25 minutes. You'll need to pull the rice out of the oven halfway through to re-mix the tomato puree into the rice.
While the rice is in the oven, in a bowl add the shrimp, oil, and all spices except for the salt. Let "marinate" for 20 minutes in the fridge. This is the perfect time to get all of your taco toppings chopped, shredded, etc.
Preheat a large skillet over high heat. If you are not using non-stick, you'll need to add more oil to the pan. Dump in the shrimp. Let cook 2 minutes on one side. Then flip and cook 1 more minute. Salt to taste. I transfer my cooked shrimp to a cutting board and chop into small bite size pieces. You can certainly keep the shrimp whole if you want.
When the rice is done, remove from oven and fluff with a fork. Toss in the cilantro, if using.
Assemble your tacos, spoon some rice on your plate, and enjoy!