I had intended to write a post about a trip I took last week to Long Island and the travails of being a middle-aged woman getting seated alone in restaurants. But that topic will have to wait. In fact, I may never write about it because it seems incredibly petty in the face of the recent bombing in Manchester, England after an Ariana Grande concert. My heart goes out to all who were at the concert and affected by that horrible event. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be there. The reports bring back memories of other horrific events. In particular, the shooting at Sandy Hook in Connecticut several years back. By coincidence, my husband and I were attending our daughter’s elementary school holiday concert when the shooting happened. We learned about it on our way home from the event. Having just been in a room of small children at school filled with their beautiful voices, we could easily imagine the heartbreak of what had happened at Sandy Hook. And now we imagine Manchester.
As horrifying as these events were, they also brought out the best in people. Today’s news reports are filled with story after story of generosity and kind acts being shown in England last night and today. Drivers lining up to help people evacuate the area. Locals opening up their homes to strangers who had nowhere to spend the night. Politicians putting pettiness aside. I drive past Sandy Hook several times a year enroute to Long Island to visit family. Tears of joy come welling up every time I pass the billboard that says: We are Sandy Hook. We choose love. I hope the city of Manchester and the victims of last night’s bombing can find it in their hearts to choose love, as well.
I created these Seafood Tacos before the event. It was a cloudy day yesterday and I wanted to serve a meal full of color. It’s a light meal. Prepared taco shells are filled with cooked shrimp, vegetables, and herbs. I like to serve all the ingredients in small decorative bowls to allow everyone at the table to create their own taco in their favorite way. Add some prepared salsa and cooked rice to the fixings, if you like, and serve with cold beer or lemonade. Enjoy.
I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.
Note: Gathering Flavors will be on hiatus until late June.
Seafood Tacos with Cornmeal Shells
Yield: 12 Tacos, 4 to 6 Servings
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ pound mini-sweet peppers
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Juice of one lime
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup cilantro leaves, rinsed and chopped lightly
- 4 radishes, rinsed, trimmed and sliced thinly
- 3 scallions, rinsed, trimmed and chopped lightly
- Small head radicchio, rinsed and sliced to chiffonade (thinly)
- 12 prepared cornmeal hard taco shells
- 2 limes, cut into 8 wedges
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Distribute the sweet peppers evenly on the pan. Drizzle with ¼ cup olive oil. Place in the oven and roast until the peppers are lightly browned and tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once they are cool enough to hand pull off their stems. Set aside but leave the oven on.
- Pour the remaining ¼ cup olive oil into a ten-inch skillet. Place on the stovetop over a high flame. When olive oil is heated, add the shrimp. Stir to coat with the olive oil. Sauté until the shrimp are cooked through and opaque, about 5 minutes, stirring all the time. Add the dried oregano and stir. Add the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Stir one last time.Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Place the prepared taco shells on a cookie sheet and place in the oven. Heat through, about two to three minutes. Remove from oven.
- When ready to serve, place the taco shells on a serving platter. Place all the remaining ingredients (roasted peppers, shrimp, cilantro, radishes, scallions, radicchio, and lime wedges) in attractive serving bowls. Allow each person to build her own tacos to taste.
- Serve and enjoy.
- The taco shells used in this recipe were from Trader Joe’s.
- Substitute any favorite seafood, such as scallops or chunks of salmon, for the shrimp.
- For a fuller meal, serve steamed rice and prepared salsa alongside the taco ingredients.