SERVES 4 to 6
We were inspired by a brilliant taco-shop recipe for shrimp tacos that combined the best characteristics of a taco and a quesadilla, boasting crisped corn tortillas, gooey melted cheese, and a fiesta of saucy shrimp, shredded lettuce, diced avocado, and chopped fresh cilantro. To achieve results this good without any risky, time-consuming stovetop batch cooking, we turned to the oven. We placed six tortillas on each of two oiled rimmed baking sheets and topped them with cheese and a quick-cooked shrimp filling before baking them until the tortillas crisped and the cheese melted. Topping our “tacodillas” with shredded lettuce, fresh cilantro, and diced avocado just before serving allowed us to combine the vibrancy of a taco with the warmth and comfort of a quesadilla.
We developed this recipe using Mission White Corn Tortillas, Restaurant Style, but any 100 percent corn tortillas will work here. Mexican hot sauces, such as Valentina Salsa Picante and Tapatio Salsa Picante, pair best with these tacos. For a spicier taco filling, reserve the jalapeño seeds and add them to the tomato mixture in step 1.
- 2 tomatoes, cored and chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), peeled, deveined, and tails removed
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (2 cups)
- Shredded iceberg lettuce
- Diced avocado
- chopped fresh cilantro
- Hot sauce
1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, ketchup, lime juice, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in large bowl; set aside. Cut shrimp into ½-inch pieces.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add tomato mixture and cook until liquid is slightly thickened and tomatoes begin to break down, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, stir in shrimp, and cook until shrimp are just opaque, about 2 minutes.
3. Brush 2 rimmed baking sheets with 2 tablespoons oil (1 tablespoon per sheet). Arrange tortillas in single layer on prepared sheets (6 tortillas per sheet). Brush tops of tortillas with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Divide Monterey Jack evenly among tortillas, then top with shrimp mixture. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until cheese melts and edges of tortillas just begin to brown and crisp, 7 to 9 minutes.
4. Garnish with lettuce, avocado, cilantro, and hot sauce, then fold tacos in half. Transfer tacos to platter. Serve, passing lime wedges separately.