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Published: Saturday, 11/13/2010

Grocery shrimp make tacos a snap

Fish tacos are all the rage in restaurants, and so we figured most everyone already has a recipe for those. But what about Shrimp Tacos? Sounds like a giant yum, hum?

This dish, from our Desperation Dinners cookbook (Workman Publishing), takes just 10 minutes to put together since the grocery store has already cooked the shrimp. It's especially flexible because you can use any combination of typical taco toppings you happen to have on hand. Our favorites include shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, shredded cheese, bottled salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.

There are so many sizes and kinds of cooked shrimp available now, and we find that one or the other is frequently on sale. So just use the most economical shrimp, but if the tail shells are still attached, do remove before serving!

Contact Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross at Desperation Dinners, c/o United Media, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, or send e-mail to tellus@kitchenscoop.com. Or visit the Desperation Dinners Web site at kitchenscoop.com.

Shrimp-Filled Soft Tacos

Start to finish: 10 minutes

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic

1 package (16 ounces) frozen green, red and yellow bell pepper stir-fry mix

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 pound shrimp, cooked and peeled

8 small (8-inch) flour tortillas

salt and black pepper, to taste

toppings of choice, such as chopped tomato, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole

Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Add the frozen pepper stir-fry mix, and raise heat to high. Add the cumin and chili powder, and stir well. Cook until the vegetables have thawed, three minutes or so, stirring frequently.

Add the shrimp, and cook until just heated through, about two minutes.

While the shrimp mixture simmers, wrap the tortillas in microwave-safe plastic wrap and microwave on high until warmed through, one to two minutes.

Remove the shrimp mixture from heat, and season with salt and pepper. Place the tortillas on each individual serving plate, and spoon the shrimp mixture into the center of each, dividing evenly and using a slotted spoon to drain off excess juices. Fold the tortillas over, taco style, and place two on each serving plate. Serve with toppings of your choice.

Yield: 4 servings

Approximate values per serving: 448 calories (20 percent from fat), 9.5 g fat (2 g saturated), 221 mg cholesterol, 33 g protein, 55 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 860.5 mg sodium

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