Taco Tuesday

Have a gal pal with a birthday in her midst? Or do you have another occasion to throw a party – showers, engagement parties, stagettes, bon voyages? Why not make it a theme party where the hostess keeps the spoils of your potluck? Today’s suggested theme surrounds the general concept of making it a fiesta night. Divide and conquer among your party attendees and the let the maiden of honour have a great night with plenty to remember it by.

First things first, we need a fabulous taco recipe to feed the gang. Assign one member of your party’s party to pick up Kelley Cleary Coffeen’s delicioso cookbook ‘300 Best Taco Recipes’. For the record, if you found the number as staggering as I did, it’s not actually 300 taco recipes, but pretty damn close. There’s a couple dozen salsa and cocktail recipes thrown into the mix of tacos stuffed with everything from steak and shrimp to berries and beef. Every recipe combines an interesting blend of ingredients to give this dinnertime staple legs – you could easily serve up tacos on a weekly basis and NEVER get bored. Want to give it a whirl before the big night? Check the bottom of this post for a free sampling to kick off your next gathering.

Second, may I recommend President’s Choice delicious Memories of Mexico Fajita cooking sauce? The product developer for this cheap & easy treat went all the way down to Mexico to find the perfect blend of ingredients and came up with this winning combination of tomatoes, chili peppers, lime juice, and chipotle peppers for a sauce that adds just the right amount of kick to any party dish.

Of course it wouldn’t be a party without drinks, so be sure to pick up a suave margarita set, like the seven-piece Cancun collection from Bed, Bath & Beyond above, for the bargain price of just $25. Be sure to also check out the store’s ‘Margaritaville’ salt & lime set for the finishing touches, including a rimmer plate, lime holder, and shot glass, also for $25.

Finally I love this bold, simplistic chip & dip bowl from Sears, currently on sale for $35. Bring an organic brand of chips and habernero salsa to get things fired up!

Now as promised, a free recipe from the 300 Best Taco Recipes book. If you’ve taken it upon yourself to be the cookbook giver at this fete and are afraid of spilling salsa on its pages, look no further than below for a delish-sounding Steak & Shrimp Tacos recipe!

Grilled Fajita Steak and Shrimp Tacos

Makes 12 tacos

This is my favorite surf ’n’ turf taco. Tender shrimp sautéed with sweet peppers and onions complement the grilled beefy taste of this taco. Cooked shrimp speeds up the prep time.


Instead of grilling the steak, place it on a broiler pan and broil 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) away from the heat or sear in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Preheat greased barbecue grill to medium-high (see Variation, left)

1 lb                beef skirt steak                                                    500 g

2 tbsp           olive oil, divided                                                30 mL

Kosher salt

12                   medium shrimp, cooked, peeled,                        12
deveined and coarsely chopped

1                     onion, sliced into 1⁄4-inch (0.5 cm)                      1
thick rings

1                     red bell pepper, julienned                                       1

1                     orange bell pepper, julienned                                1

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

8                     6- to 8-inch (15 to 20 cm) corn or                         8
flour tortillas

2                     limes, cut into 6 wedges                                           2

1.   Brush meat with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil. Season with salt to taste. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steak, until medium-rare and well browned on surface. Let stand for 5 minutes. Thinly slice meat across the grain.

2.   In a large skillet, heat remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) of oil over medium heat. Sauté shrimp, onion, red and orange bell peppers and salt and pepper to taste until peppers are tender-crisp, vegetables are slightly charred and shrimp is heated through, 10 to 12 minutes.

3.   To build tacos, skillet warm tortillas (page 15). Divide meat and shrimp mixture equally among tortillas and fold tortillas in half. Serve with lime wedges.

Excerpted from 300 Best Taco Recipes by Kelley Cleary Coffeen © 2011 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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