Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Skillet Shrimp Fajitas

Add this recipe to your file of "Desperation Dinners." Already after 5 o'clock and I hadn't really even thought about what to make for dinner.  To make matters worse, it had been awhile since I'd been to the store and all we were left with were odds and ends---half a pepper, a lonely zucchini, some sliced onion left from salads over the weekend.  What to do...Immediately, my mind went to fajitas.  Shrimp fajitas, since all my meat was frozen and shrimp would thaw out and cook up the fastest.

The shrimp thawed out under running water in a matter of minutes while I chopped the remaining vegetables and then quickly sauteed everything in batches.  In under 30, we were sitting down to a meal that definitely had the look of being more planned than it was.  My five year old asked if we could have this for dinner again sometime soon.  I'll count that as a success.

Oh, and a quick note: we were all out of the shredded cheese that I would normally top Mexican fare with in our house.  Taking a cue from Susie Jimenez (contestant on the current season of "The Next Food Network Star"), I substituted crumbled feta.  If you are able, I highly recommend using it on the fajitas.  It added a surprising and really delicious twist that I will be repeating in the future.

 Shrimp Fajitas
1 pound medium-large shrimp, thawed, peeled and de-veined
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 six-inch flour tortillas
toppings: salsa, sour cream, diced avocado, crumbled feta cheese

In a small bowl, combine cumin, chili powder, salt, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.  Stir well and set aside.  Remove shells and tails from shrimp and place in a bowl or in a single layer on a plate.  Sprinkle shrimp with a generous layer of spice mixture.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute vegetables in batches with a couple teaspoons of oil for each batch until vegetables are crisp-tender and begin to brown.  Remove to a bowl and keep warm.  Repeat until all vegetables are cooked.  Wipe out pan.  Add remaining oil and saute shrimp just 1-2 minutes per side, flipping once.  Shrimp are done as soon as they become firm and pink.  Immediately remove from the heat.

To serve, divide shrimp and vegetables evenly among tortillas.  Dress with desired condiments such as salsa, diced avocado or guacamole, sour cream and cheese

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