PRE-CLASS MISE EN PLACE AND NOTES
BAJA-STYLE SHRIMP TACOS
Please gather all ingredients prior to class if you will be cooking along. It is helpful to organize the
ingredients by recipe on rimmed baking sheets.
Feel free to pre-measure ingredients, but it is not necessary.
Baja-Style Shrimp Tacos
1. Shrimp can be defrosted overnight in the refrigerator or placed in a colander and rinsed with cold water until thawed.
Watermelon Agua Fresca
Ingredient Shopping List
Below is a list of ingredients you’ll need to make the recipes in this packet. Please reach out for substitution suggestions.
Proteins☐ 1 pound medium size shrimp, peeled and deveined
Produce☐ 1 small head red or green cabbage
☐ 1 large carrot
☐ 1 jalapeno
☐ 4 limes
☐ 2 medium tomatoes
☐ 1 personal-sized watermelon
☐ 1 bunch cilantro
☐ 2 bunches of mint
Dairy☐ 1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
☐ Unsalted butter
Pantry Items☐ Apple cider vinegar
☐ Kosher or sea salt
☐ Black pepper in a grinder
☐ Vegetable oil
☐ Granulated sugar
☐ Masa harina (see recipe for substitutions)
Dry/Canned Goods☐ Chipotle paste, or canned chipotle
Below is a list of tools you’ll need to make the recipes in this packet.
Cutlery☐ Chef’s knife
☐ Paring knife
☐ 2 Cutting boards
Hand Tools/Gadgets☐ Mixing bowls
☐ Dry measuring cups and spoons
☐ Liquid measuring cups
☐ Tortilla press (see recipe for alternate methods of pressing tortillas)
☐ Metal, or heat-safe spatula
☐ Wooden spoons
☐ Tortilla warmer or clean kitchen towel
☐ Mixing spoons
☐ Wooden spoon
Cookware☐ Cast iron skillet or griddle
☐ Grill or grill pan
☐ 1 skillet (8” to 10” diameter)
Tabletop☐ Serving platter or plates for tacos
Other☐ Plastic wrap
☐ Kitchen Towels
FRESH HANDMADE CORN TORTILLAS
Yield: 12, 5 to 6-inch tortillas
Tortillas can be made simply with flour and water, but adding a bit of fat greatly improves flavor and texture. Lard, butter, and oil will all yield great results, so use what is on hand or experiment with your favorite fat.
1 1/2 cups masa harina, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons fat (melted lard, butter, or vegetable oil)
1 cup hot water, plus more as needed
- To prepare the masa: Place masa and salt in a bowl and thoroughly combine with the fat, mixing with fingers or a whisk. Slowly stream in the water while mixing with your hands or a wooden spoon until the dough comes together into a ball. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide the dough into 12, 1-ounce portions and form each into a smooth ball. Place masa balls on a baking sheet, cover with plastic, and rest for 30 minutes.
- After the dough has rested, preheat a cast iron skillet over medium-high for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium.
- If the dough has dried slightly during resting, wet hands and roll each ball again to moisten. Place the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and place directly in the center of the tortilla press. Press down firmly, then turn the tortilla 90ºF and press again, repeating 1 to 2 more times or until the tortilla is evenly 1/8 inch thick.
- If the raw tortilla cracks or breaks, do not worry: just grab another piece of dough and start again. Holding the tortilla flat in your palm, carefully peel the plastic away and transfer tortilla into the hot skillet. Cook the tortilla until brown spots appear on the bottom, about 1 minute. Flip with a thin metal spatula, and repeat on the other side. Transfer tortilla to a baking sheet and cover with a damp towel to trap in the heat and moisture. Reuse the plastic for your next tortilla; it will become more pliable with every pressing. Once you get the hang of it, transfer the pressed tortilla straight into the hot skillet and start pressing the next one while the first is cooking.
- When ready to serve, reheat the tortillas, wrapped in foil, in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes. You can store the tortillas tightly wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Masa Harina Substitutions: —Masa Preparada (prepared masa dough) —If you cannot find masa harina or masa preparade please purchase your favorite 4-inch flour or corn tortilla. Iceberg, green leaf, or bibb lettuce leaves also make great taco shells in a pinch.
BAJA GRILLED SHRIMP TACOS
Yield: 8 tacos
1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Sea salt and freshly black ground pepper
Lime Crema: 1/2 cup crema Mexicana or sour cream
2 teaspoons lime zest
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Shrimp: 1 pound (about 24) medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chipotle paste
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
For serving: 8 corn tortillas
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
- To make slaw: To a large mixing bowl, toss cabbage, carrots, jalapeno, vinegar, and honey together. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- To make the lime crema: To a small bowl, add cream, lime zest, and juice; whisk to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To grill shrimp: Heat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. To a medium bowl, add the shrimp, oil, chipotle paste and lime juice, toss to combine. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Grill shrimp, turning once with tongs, until firm and no longer translucent, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer grilled shrimp to a plate and heat tortillas on grill until warm, about 30 seconds per side.
- To serve: Fill each warm tortilla with 3 grilled shrimp, a small amount of slaw, lime crema, diced tomatoes, and cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges and remaining slaw on the side.
Baja Grilled Shrimp Tacos variations:
No grill? Cook the shrimp in a skillet Substitute any of your favorite fish in place of shrimp
WATERMELON AGUA FRESCA
Yield: 4 servings
Agua Fresca, “cool waters” in English, is a light refreshing drink served throughout Mexico. Popular flavors include cinnamon and rice horchata, tart hibiscus, or seasonal fresh fruit like the one we created with watermelon and a hint of lime.
4 cups water
6 cups watermelon
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup fresh mint leaves
- To make the agua fresca: Place all ingredients in the pitcher of a blender and secure with lid. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to high. Use the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades and blend until smooth. (If the mixture is too thick to blend, add more water, a few tablespoons at a time, until the contents blend smoothly.)
- Serve immediately over ice.