Big Flavors from a Mystery Basket Volume 2: Prickly Pear-Marinated Shrimp Tacos with Honey-Glazed Chorizo & BBQ Crema

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This installment of Big Flavors from a Mystery Basket turns ingredients sent to me from a Texan food blogger into sweet-and-spicy TACOS!

Remember a while back when I had my husband put together a mystery basket for me to make dinner from, a la Chopped? Well it was so much fun that I’m at it again, but this time with a twist.

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A few of my fellow food bloggers and I drew names and sent each other mystery boxes. The rules were simple: send 3 ingredients to another blogger, and spend around $20 total.

Ashley over at Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine sent me a box full of goodies from Texas.

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Aside from the fact that the post office nearly annihilated the box, I was thrilled to get some of her favorite local ingredients, plus a few extra goodies for me to enjoy.

She included 4 ingredients to use, and said I could only use 3 since that’s what we had agreed on, but I saw it as a challenge and used all 4: Spanish Chorizo Picante, local honey, prickly pear soda and spicy BBQ sauce from a famous Texas BBQ restaurant.

My initial thought was that I’d make migas. But then I thought that tacos would be a fun route to take with these ingredients.

I wanted to try to use a few of the ingredients in different aspects of this recipe, so the imaginary panel of judges wouldn’t call me out on not really utilizing any of them. This was also the first really involved meal that I cooked in my tiny kitchen after getting off crutches, so it was ambitious to say the least.

Prickly Pear-Marinated Shrimp Tacos with Honey-Glazed Chorizo & BBQ Crema

The prickly pear soda was something I’ve never tried before. It was very sweet, so I figured that marinating the shrimp in it quickly would be a good way to use it without it getting too sweet.

I used part of the marinating liquid at the end of the shrimp’s cooking time as well, to really drive home the flavor. The soda also made an appearance as a way to add a bit of sweetness to the BBQ guacamole.

I didn’t want the dish to be too spicy, so I did a quick honey and sherry glaze on the chorizo. It worked out well, except I forgot that it would dry and be sticky and drained it on paper towels. Oops! I also got the chorizo a little too crispy on one side after the honey was added, so next time I’d watch it more carefully to make sure it didn’t overcook.

Prickly Pear-Marinated Shrimp Tacos with Honey-Glazed Chorizo & BBQ Crema

I added the BBQ sauce in both the guacamole and the crema. It was nice to have a bit of kick to those 2 creamy, cool components.

Finally, I wanted a bit of crunch, so I put together a quick jicama salad to go on top. It turned out soooo tasty. I’d totally make a bigger batch of that and serve it as an alternative to salsa. Yum!

Prickly Pear-Marinated Shrimp Tacos with Honey-Glazed Chorizo & BBQ Crema

Serves 4 (2 tacos per serving)

Prickly Pear-Marinated Shrimp Tacos with Honey-Glazed Chorizo & BBQ Crema

A Texas-themed mystery basket inspired these sweet-and-spicy seafood tacos.

Ingredients

For chorizo:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (7.9-ounce) package Spanish Chorizo Picante, sliced in half lengthwise, then into 1/4-inch semi-circles
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sherry wine
For BBQ crema:
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons spicy BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
For BBQ guacamole:
2 ripe avocados
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon spicy BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon prickly pear soda
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For jicama salad:
2 cups jicama, diced small
2 tablespoons red onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For shrimp:
1 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup prickly pear soda
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
For serving:
8 corn tortillas
Lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Cook chorizo: Heat oil in a large, non-stick skillet over moderate heat. Add chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crispy. Drain all but about a tablespoon of the oil. Add honey and sherry and allow to reduce, stirring constantly. Remove chorizo to a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving any remaining oil in the pan.
  2. Make BBQ crema: Mix ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Make the BBQ guacamole: Pit and peel avocados and place in a medium bowl. Add lime juice and mash together with a fork. Add BBQ sauce, cilantro, soda, garlic and salt and mix well. Set aside.
  4. Make jicama salad: In a medium bowl, mix jicima, red onion, lime zest and juice, cilantro, oil and salt. Toss well to combine.
  5. Make shrimp: Place shrimp and soda in a bowl and let marinate 15 minutes.
  6. Put the pan with chorizo drippings back over moderate heat. If there isn't much oil left, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Remove shrimp from marinade and add them to the pan with the garlic, reserving the marinade.
  7. Sauté shrimp, stirring occasionally, until pink and almost cooked through (about 3 minutes). Pour in half of reserved marinade and let it come to a boil in the pan. Cook until the soda is reduced and the shrimp are cooked through. Remove shrimp to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  8. Serve: Warm tortillas according to package directions. For each taco, take a double layer of the warmed tortillas and spread on some BBQ guacamole. Top with shrimp, chorizo and jicama salad. Drizzle some BBQ crema over top. Garnish with lime wedges and enjoy!

Notes

Original Recipe by Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli

http://bigflavorstinykitchen.com/big-flavors-from-a-mystery-basket-volume-2-prickly-pear-marinated-shrimp-tacos-with-honey-glazed-chorizo-bbq-crema/

I sent ingredients to Heather over at girlichef: sardines in harissa, asparagus pesto and dried dragonfruit. I’m excited to see what she comes up with!

And before you think it was super mean to send sardines in harissa, know that I included them because she saw them on an Instagram post of mine a few months ago and reeeeally wanted to get some, but isn’t near a Trader Joe’s. The dried dragon fruit was something I had never seen before, and my 3-year-old found it on the shelf at a local health food store, and I thought it would make a fun and unique addition to the mystery basket.

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All in all, this was a super fun experience. Thanks to all the other fabulous food bloggers that joined in on the fun! To see what was in the other mystery boxes, check out the roundup below!

#FFFMysteryBox Participant Links and Ingredients

  • I love the idea of marinating the shrimp in that soda – and I could definitely see myself enjoying these tacos, yummy flavor combo!

  • This was so much fun! You really made a unique dish with my ingredients! 😀 I wonder though, did anyone in your family eat that lollipop 😉

  • Sophia Del Gigante

    OMG you did GREAT with your items and Ashley was sooooo generous! I can tell how much she loves Austin!

    These tacos look really good!

  • Karen

    Nice job and what a lovely basket of goodies!!