baja tacos

I got seriously spoiled this weekend.  Waffles for breakfast spoiled.  Ben Harper tickets spoiled.  Craigie on Main dinner spoiled.

And as if that weren’t more than enough birthday bliss, I decided, despite the rain, to throw myself a little party on Sunday night.  We made fresh salsa, guacamole, a yellow bean and blue cheese salad, roasted potatoes and romesco sauce, grilled mackerel, and these tacos.

With the addition of roughly 3 gallons of sangria (dangerous), it was a pretty perfect night. 

The tacos here are inspired by the Baja Tacos at Olecito in Inman Square.  Olecito is little sister restaurant to the larger Ole, located just behind 1369 off of Cambridge Street.  All the tacos at this tiny little take out place are amazing, but the Baja are my absolute favorite – crispy fried shrimp with cilantro pesto, spicy mayo, crisp cabbage, and a squeeze of lime all wrapped in a warm corn tortilla.  Add a cold drink and a hot night and you too can feel spoiled, birthday or any day.

One Year Ago: Slow(ish) Roasted Tomatoes.

Serves 4.

Baja Tacos

For the Cilantro Pesto

  • 1 large bunch cilantro, washed, dried and stems removed
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • The juice of one lime
  • Lots of salt and pepper
  • A good drizzle of olive oil – about 3-4 tbsp

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and puree, scraping down the sides as needed.  Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate until needed.

For the Siracha Mayo

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ tbsp siracha, or more to taste

Combine the mayo and the siracha in a small bowl.  Mix well and set aside.

For the Shrimp

  • 2 dozen medium shrimp, washed, deveined, and tails removed
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying

You’ll want to fry the shrimp just before you’re ready to serve.  Set out three bowls.  Place the flour in one and the panko in another.  Season the flour with salt and pepper.  Crack the eggs in the third and whisk well.  Set a large skillet over medium heat and coat the bottom with ½ inch of oil.  Heat until hot (2-3 minutes), and then, working in batches fry the shrimp until crisp, about 2 minutes on each side.  Remove and drain on paper towels.

To Serve

  • 12 corn tortillas – wrap these in tin foil and warm them in a 400 degree oven while the shrimp are frying
  • Thinly sliced cabbage – about ½ a small head
  • Lime wedges

Place a little sliced cabbage on each tortilla.  Top with a couple of fried shrimp, plenty of cilantro pesto and a good smear of siracha mayo.  Serve with lime wedges on the side.

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