Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with these shrimp tacos

  • Shrimp and poblano pepper tacos with pinto bean salad. TNS PHOTO

Tribune News Service
Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Tacos filled with charred poblano peppers and shrimp is a simple Mexican dish that’s perfect for a Cinco de Mayo dinner. The holiday on May 5 celebrates the victory of Mexican forces over the French occupational forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Pinto beans with cotija cheese is a typical side dish from the Puebla area. Cotija cheese is an aged cheese with a salty and pungent flavor. The most common type is very firm, similar to Parmesan cheese. I have used Parmesan in this recipe, because it is easier to find in a local supermarket.

If pressed for time, use the poblano peppers without charring them. The flavor will be different but the taco still tasty.

Helpful Hints:

Any type of hard grating cheese can be used in the side dish.

To save preparation time, buy diced onion found in the produce section of many supermarkets.

Lemon juice and cilantro are used in both recipes, prepare them at one time and divide for the recipes.


Place peppers under boiler.

Prepare the ingredients.

Assemble the pinto bean salad.

Make shrimp dish.

Shopping List:

To buy: 2 poblano peppers, 2 ounces lean ham, ¾ pound peeled and deveined shrimp, 4 6-inch whole wheat flour tortillas, 1 package frozen chopped onion, 1 can pinto beans, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 lemon and 1 small package of Parmesan cheese.

Staples: olive oil, salt and black peppercorns.

Shrimp and Poblano Pepper Tacos

2 poblano peppers, (about 1 cup sliced)

4 6-inch whole-wheat flour tortillas

2 tsp. olive oil

½ cup frozen chopped onion

2 oz. lean ham (about ½ cup sliced)

¾ pound peeled and deveined shrimp

1 tsp. lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 T chopped cilantro

Preheat broiler. Place poblano peppers on a foil-lined tray and place under the broiler for three minutes to char (broil until the skin turns black) the peppers. While peppers char, wrap the tortillas in foil and place on a lower shelf in the oven to warm. Remove when peppers are finished and keep warm in foil until ready to use. Turn and char pepper for three minutes or until the second side turns black. Cut the pepper into strips, removing seeds.

Heat the oil in a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion and ham. Cook two minutes. Add the shrimp and cook three minutes. Remove from the heat and toss with lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Divide the shrimp among the 4 tortillas and fold in half in a taco shape. Serve two tacos per person. Yields two servings.

Per serving: 406 calories (24 percent from fat), 10.9 g fat (2.6 g saturated, 3.1 g monounsaturated), 291 mg cholesterol, 46.5 g protein, 35.6 g carbohydrates, 4.4 g fiber, 692 mg sodium.

Pinto Bean Salad

2 tsp. olive oil

2 tsp. lemon juice

1½ cups canned, rinsed and drained pinto beans

2 T chopped cilantro

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 T Parmesan cheese cut into small pieces

Mix oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Add the beans and toss well. Add cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle cheese on top. Yields two servings.

Per serving: 210 calories (30 percent from fat), 6.9 g fat (1.6 g saturated, 2.7 g monounsaturated), 4 mg cholesterol, 9.7 g protein, 28.4 g carbohydrates, 8.3 g fiber, 248 mg sodium.