Cinco de Mayo

There are a lot of styles of food out there that I enjoy, but at the top of my list (most definitely) is Latin cuisine. It is flavorful, filling, fresh…just thinking about it makes my mouth water! Usually we have some sort Latin-style food once a week…I could probably eat it every day, so naturally on Cinco de Mayo our plates were filled with homemade shrimp tacos with a side of rice and beans.

Have you ever had a homemade tortilla? They sound tedious and time consuming-but really they aren’t (and they are soooo good)! I always try to make them from scratch (trust me it doesn’t always happen!). These were not (and never are) perfectly round and some were thinner than others-but I was kind of liking the rustic, homemade look.

While I was busy rolling the tortilla shells and making a pineapple/cilantro salsa, I put Matt in charge of  making and grilling the shrimp. Matt’s style of cooking is looking into the cupboard full of spices, randomly selecting what sounds good…and then toss all of the ingredients together using the measurements of pinches, shakes, and dashes. I never complain because it usually turns out tasty and it’s an entertaining experience. I did my best to translate his ‘recipe’ below.

Here is what we ended up with. Delicioso.

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Grilled Chipotle-Lime Shrimp
(Matt’s concoction…I tried my best to translate by giving him a measuring spoon and guesstimate his amounts)
1 pound uncooked shrimp (keep the tails on while cooking-it keeps them from drying out)
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/3 teaspoon Chipotle chili pepper powder

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Grill 2-3 minutes, until just pink.

Corn Tortillas
2 cups instant corn masa flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups water, more if needed

Place masa and salt in a bowl.
Add water and use hands to mix. It should come together and make a soft dough. Add more water (1 TBS at a time), if needed.
Divide dough into equal pieces (about 8 large or 16 small).
Roll dough balls between greased pieces of wax paper.
Cook tortillas on a preheated sauté pan, about one minute per side. Don’t over cook, otherwise they will be brittle and break.
Keep warm on a plate, covered with a towel until ready to use.

Taco Toppings…
Fresh chopped pineapple with freshly chopped cilantro
Greek yogurt
Fresh chopped tomatoes

Black Beans and Rice (serves 4)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
2 cans full of water (from the black beans), plus more as needed
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
A few shakes of salt/pepper

Place all ingredients in a pot. Bring to boil. Continue to stir, smash, and mash beans for about 30 minutes over medium heat, until you reach a desired consistency. Continue to add water as needed until the beans have cooked down. Serve over rice. Top with freshly chopped cilantro and grated cheese.

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