Crispy & Crunchy

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on May 24, 2010

in fish or seafood, Mexican/Latin

My senior year of college, my mom and I went out to Denver to visit my sister in culinary school. It was on that trip that I discovered the importance of hydration at higher altitudes, the importance of having a destination in mind when setting out for dinner, and the true wonder that are fish tacos.

Much like many college students, my sister was familiar with a handful of local restaurants, and claimed that this place Rubio’s had THE BEST tacos and burritos. She hadn’t steered us wrong in any of the other places we’d tried on this random trip west, so we trusted her and went. I played it safe and ordered chicken tacos (or a chicken burrito, I don’t really remember!), but both my mom and sister got fish tacos. My mom got grilled fish, and my sister got crispy… so I demanded a bite.

Tortilla, crispy fish, salsa, avocado, spice… it was a perfect combo, and I was promptly annoyed that I’d never had it before! Since that trip, I’ve had my fair share of fish tacos, as well as many other seafood/Mexican food combos. Another favorite? Crispy shrimp tacos, eaten only once at a small Chicago Mexican restaurant once frequented by Lizz and me. My mission? Crispy shrimp tacos. The challenge? What do I top them with?

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Mission accomplished! Healthy, lightly spicy crispy shrimp!

The how to, after preheating the oven to 375*

Step 1: remove the shell, tail, and vein from your shrimp (or cheat like me and buy them frozen!)

Step 2: Lightly coat the shrimp in flour. A large ziplock bag comes in handy here.

Step 3: Dip the floured shrimp into a mixture of 2 beaten eggs and 1/4 c. water.

Step 4: Coat the shrimp in panko bread crumbs and place (this is the important part) on a rack atop a baking sheet. This allows for air to circulate around all sides of the shrimp to make all-around crunch.

Step 5: Sprinkle the shrimp with cayenne pepper and either smoked paprika or Bacon Salt.

Step 6: Bake until crispy and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Broil a few minutes to brown them.

Step 7: DEVOUR!

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How did I answer my challenge? Since I didn’t exactly have salsa (or the makings for salsa), I had to improvise. The lovely people at Alouette recently sent me coupons to try their new extra creamy brie, and since it’s not at stores by me yet, I picked up some of their amazing baby brie. Yeah. I went there.

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Crispy shrimp tacos, with brie, avocado and cilantro. I desperately wished I’d had a lime… oh well. They were, in the lingo of my favorite ‘ista, FACE ROCKING! I couldn’t believe how well they came out. Crunchy, spicy, creamy… and so satisfying! And, because I can, another picture:

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I hope you all had a wonderful Monday! It’s ridiculously hot here… like, unseasonably hot. All I want is ice cream, but I’ll be responsible and have fruit. Or more shrimp.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is May 24, 2010 at 7:38 PM

I have raw shrimp in my fridge!! This look so good Mara, probably one of my most favorite dishes you’ve posted, I am definitely making it this week!
.-= Jessica @ How Sweet It Is´s last blog ..Cookies and Cream Krispy Treats. =-.

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Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) May 24, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Those pictures are gorgeous! Shrimp tacos sound awesome. Love the use of panko! I had pulled pork tacos last week, so I’m trying to pace myself in between tacos, LOL. They’re sooo delish.

Jenn

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gina (fitnessista) May 24, 2010 at 7:48 PM

gah!! certainly looks “face rocking” over here!
AMAZING
your culinary skills are kinda ridiculous, i’m just sayin ;)
xoxo

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Lauren May 24, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Stop it! Seriously Mara, these look sick! :)
.-= Lauren´s last blog ..Weekend Highlights =-.

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Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) May 24, 2010 at 8:50 PM

YUM those tacos look absolutely fabulous! I love crispy shrimp. The brie looks like a fantastic addition as well. YUM!!!
.-= Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat)´s last blog ..All of my supa fly ladies =-.

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Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) May 24, 2010 at 9:08 PM

Mmmm….shrimp tacos. Those look great!! And I love fish tacos! I prefer them grilled with lots of that cabbage stuff and the white sauce. :)

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kate May 24, 2010 at 9:55 PM

These look incredible. A perfect combo of some of the best foods known to man!
.-= kate´s last blog ..Tri-a-la-mode =-.

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Jackie (Peaces of Earth) May 25, 2010 at 1:13 AM

Whoaaa, this looks amazing! Beautiful photos!!
.-= Jackie (Peaces of Earth)´s last blog ..My Road to Health, Part 2: Finding Balance =-.

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Andrea (Off Her Cork) May 25, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Shrimp tacos are my fave! In fact I’m even writing up a post just about shrimp and fish tacos. YaY!

Bacon salt? YES PLEASE!
.-= Andrea (Off Her Cork)´s last blog ..Tuesday Tip: Pineapple Core Uses =-.

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Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries May 25, 2010 at 3:35 PM

These. look. amazing. I love fish tacos but have never had them with shrimp! Yummm

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amanda May 25, 2010 at 11:46 PM

haha rubios! I went there last week and got the crispy fish burrito for a change from the fish tacos….yummmmmm

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Gena May 26, 2010 at 5:54 AM

Amazing, Mara! These look awesome and pretty — you’ve got me thinkin’ about how I can raw-ify them :)

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Marianne May 27, 2010 at 3:09 AM

Oooh, crunchy shrimp tacos. I really enjoy halibut tacos, but I bet these would be great as well. Unsure how I feel about the brie. I mean, I love brie and all, but it just seems…wrong!
.-= Marianne´s last blog ..Eggs Or No Eggs =-.

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FoodCents May 30, 2010 at 5:06 PM

I might have just submitted a blank comment to you, what can I say… I am “special” :)

Anywho, I suggest and would fully support another visit to Denver:)

These shrimp look good. Shrimp scares me, not so much the eating aspect, but the preperation. I think I might just have to give this a try.

I a glad you are enjoying the Bacon Salt:)

XO
.-= FoodCents´s last blog ..FRIDAY FREAK… =-.

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