Cole slaw, a summer staple that seems virtually impossible to make in a small portion. But I wouldn’t want to, not after all the work that goes into making it. (O.K. maybe not that much, I just hate the mess of shredding cabbage!) Not to mention, I love to use leftover cole slaw to make Cole Slaw Salmon Burgers. It is also an easy refreshing layer for tacos. Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Shrimp Tacos are one of my go-to taco recipes. The slight tartness of a tomatillo pairs well with the smokiness and spiciness of peppers and adding cole slaw “cools” everything. I love the taste of tomatillos, also known as Mexican husk tomatoes, and the famous ingredient in Salsa Verde. When choosing tomatillos, pick firm, bright green ones with light brown husks. Smaller tomatillos will be a bit sweeter. (But a pinch or two of sugar can always be added.)
This recipe begins by making taco shells. I love to make my own taco shells- more bang for the buck, freshness and I can change the taco sizes. For instance, for self-standing tacos-just spread shell over 2-3 rings of rack, or more rings for “open-faced” tacos, or even draped between cups of an upside down muffin tin for taco salad shells.
The next step is roasting the vegetables. After all veggies are cut, and tossed with olive oil, place cut side down on sheet pan and roast. Roasting vegetables and garlic helps bring out so much more flavor and roasted garlic, tomatillos, tomatoes, and peppers (remember using roasted peppers to make tropical salsa http://wp.me/p57UhS-3U for black bean burgers?) make for a quick salsa. Just put the roasted peppers aside in a bowl, cover with wrap, let sit for 10 minutes, so they can be easily peeled. The tomatoes can also be easily peeled, if desired. I like to save all the skin to place in my vegetable odds and ends bag in the freezer so it is ready for my next batch of stock.
Put Your TO COOK IS TO CREATE thinking cap on: Use any leftover grilled or boiled shrimp to make this recipe even quicker. What other vegetables could you add to roast? Eggplant? Carrots? Chili peppers? Shallots? What could you add for toppings? Avocado slices, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, sliced jalapenos, black olives? How about adding black beans or corn to the cole slaw before using? Want to add a little more zing? Add 1 TBSP tequila the last 30 seconds of cooking the shrimp. Think about how the cole slaw flavor could change the flavor of the tacos, for instance, broccoli slaw, or vinaigrette or buttermilk based slaw? Don’t like hard tacos? Just heat tortillas in a non-stick skillet and have soft tacos. Want a bigger meal? Buy burrito size flour tortillas and add a layer of shredded lettuce before filling, folding, and rolling for a wrap. The salsa shrimp and cole slaw also make for a quick taco salad, too, just add choice of toppings.
FOOD FUN: Tomatillos can be used the same way you use tomatoes. In fact, if you are craving fried green tomatoes and can’t find any substitute tomatillos. Although close in name and appearance to tomatoes, tomatillos are actually related to gooseberries. But according to Organic Facts, “European explorers saw the small green vegetable and associated it with a small tomato.”