Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday – Week Thirty One – California – Shrimp Tacos with Mango Slaw and Chipotle Crema

Welcome to week 31 of Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday. This week we welcome California, who joined the union on September 9, 1850. I am so glad that we moved on from the debacle of last week; although it was sort of fun creating two different dishes. Neither of them bowled me over though, so I was looking to find a real win this week, and California has come at the perfect time.

When I think of California, I think of fun, probably because I have been there many times and have always had a great time. One of my most memorable trips was a surprise birthday gift from my hubby a couple of years ago to Napa Valley. I love wine, especially Chardonnays from the Russian River Valley and Sonoma. It was my version of a pilgrimage to Mecca. Then add the fact that he scored a coveted table to The French Laundry, a true dining bucket list. What a trip. I could go back tomorrow!

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Me and my hubby at The French Laundry

But I have been to many other places as well; LA, San Diego, San Francisco and most recently Lake Tahoe. I loved them all. And here is something I take away from every one of these places. California knows food. They are not afraid to mix it up a little and everything is super fresh. This may be because California is a treasure trove of produce. Here are some interesting food facts. Did you know…

California is the number one food and agricultural producer in the United States. More than half the nation’s fruit, nuts, and vegetables come from here. Their leading commodity is milk and cream. Grapes are second (WINE!). Nationally, products exclusively grown (99% or more) in California include almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, kiwifruit, olives, persimmons, pistachios, prunes, raisins, and walnuts. They are the leading producer of strawberries. They are also a grower of tomatoes, garlic, onions and avocados.

So when I went looking for my recipe this week, I wanted to embrace fresh flavors. There were literally hundreds of things to make, but what I finally decided on was something that pulled in a number of California’s local ingredients and also was truly local food. I settled on Shrimp Tacos with Mango Slaw and Chipotle Crema. I originally was working with the classic ‘food truck’ fish taco, but that wasn’t going to appeal to Josh, so I decided to go with a shrimp version instead. The result is a super fresh, slightly spicy taco that was delicious. The shrimp marinade gave them a tangy and spicy taste, which balances nicely with the smoky Chipotle Crema and the crisp freshness of the Mango Slaw. A slice of avocado pulls the whole dish together.

Perfection.

Shrimp Tacos
Shrimp Tacos with Mango Slaw and Chipotle Crema

This gets an A+. I will add this to my ‘make it again’ collection and encourage you to give it a try. Cinco de Mayo is only two days away! This would wow your crowd for sure. Of course, I added a nice glass of Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley. If it was the 5th, I would have made a margarita.

Thanks California. This one was a true winner. See you next week in Minnesota.

Recipe for Mango Slaw:

1 – 9 oz. bag shredded cole slaw mix
1/2 mango, sliced, then julienned
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
Juice of 1 lime
Chopped cilantro, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.

Mango Slaw
Mango Slaw

Recipe for Chipotle Crema:

1 cup crema or sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 chipotle pepper in adobo with sauce, chopped
Chopped cilantro to taste, optional

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.

Chipotle Crema
Chipotle Crema

 

Recipe Shrimp Tacos:

1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp (21-25 size)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
Corn or flour tortillas
1 avocado, sliced
Lime wedges

Combine olive oil, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder and lime juice. Toss the shrimp and marinade in this mixture for 10 minutes
Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the shrimp with the marinade and cook until just opaque, about 3 minutes.

Sauteed Shrimp
Sauteed Shrimp

Heat the tortillas and fill with Shrimp, Mango Slaw and avocado. Squeeze fresh lime over the top and serve with the Chipotle Crema.

Shrimp Tacos
Shrimp Tacos with Mango Slaw and Chipotle Crema
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