Garlicky Shrimp Fajitas with Guacamole

I have recently become addicted to Pinterest. Along with my friends and Food Network, I’ve found that Pinterest is an awesome source of cooking inspiration. While browsing one day, I came across a recipe for garlicky shrimp fajitas with guacamole that sounded easy and delicious. So I took a little twist on the idea by adding some flavors, some veggies, and my homemade guacamole. And in 15 minutes, I had a flavorful, filling dinner.

This delicious dish only takes about 15 minutes to make!

What you’ll need (makes 2 servings):
2 cups shrimp
1 bell pepper
1 small onion
3 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sherry
6 tablespoons guacamole (store-bought is fine, or see my homemade recipe)
4 whole wheat tortillas

What you’ll need to do:

I usually like to buy the frozen, already cooked, peeled, deveined shrimp to make things easy. So start by defrosting your shrimp in water. It’s super easy. Just put the shrimp in a bowl and run cold water over it, changing out the water every couple minutes until the shrimp are defrosted.

While the shrimp is defrosting, chop your pepper and onion. Set aside.

Put a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with the olive oil. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until just slightly tender.

Since your shrimp are already cooked, they just need to be warmed with the pepper, onion, and garlic. Add them to the pan when the veggies are almost done. Then, add the sherry for taste.

The sherry adds flavor, color, and texture. And fajitas just aren’t fajitas without peppers and onions!

**Tip: Sherry is in your kitchen staples. But if you don’t have it, tequila or white wine would also be tasty! The sherry is added to deglaze the pan and add a little extra flavor.

Let the sherry reduce for about 2 minutes, and then turn the heat down to low. Heat your tortillas over the stove or in a microwave.

**Tip: If you have a gas stove, throw your tortilla right over the flame. Start the flame and turn down to low, put the tortilla on the burner and turn the heat up to medium-high for about 10 seconds. Turn the heat back down to low so you can flip the tortilla, then repeat on the other side. If you don’t have a gas stove, warming your tortillas in the microwave is fine. Simply cover them with a damp paper towel and heat for 30 seconds on high.

I love a slight char on the tortilla – for whatever reason, it makes it taste homemade.

Smear about 1 1/2 tbsp of guacamole on each tortilla and add your shrimp and veggies. Crack open a nice cold beer and enjoy!

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Los Gol Inspired Guacamole

When I was about 12 years old, my brothers and I each got to pick a tree to plant in our backyard. Daniel, chose a peach tree, Kevin chose a apricot tree, and I chose an avocado tree. Sure, my mom told me that avocados probably wouldn’t grow on the tree until I left for college (it turned out to be grad school, by the way), but I was determined. I love, love, love avocados. I could eat them like apples. So it’s no surprise that guacamole is my all-time favorite snack food.

My favorite guacamole of all time comes from this little hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant in my hometown called Los Golondrinas (affectionately known by locals as “Los Gol”). After moving away from Southern California, I was left to my own devices to recreate this tasty guacamole (kind of like what I did for my SoCal Steak Tacos).

The trick is to get a nice, thick tortilla chip. Those flimsy, mass-produced chips just don’t cut it. Get the real deal from the Mexican section of your market.

What you’ll need:

4 ripe avocados
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon salt

What you’ll need to do:

Start with ripe avocados. You’ll know they’re the perfect ripeness if they’re about the same density as if you press on the pad of your hand. Use your knife to cut your avocado all the way around length-wise, dragging your knife tip around the pit and being careful not to puncture it. Twist your avocado like an Oreo to release it. Then, use your knife to chop into the pit to get a grip on it, then twist your knife to release the pit (see picture). Don’t worry too much about it being perfect, your avocado will be mashed anyway!

You have to use a little force when bringing your knife down on the pit so that you can get a grip on it. Once the pit lifts out of the avocado, it’s easy enough to get off your knife and into the trash can.

Use a spoon to scoop out your avocado into a medium bowl. Mash your avocado with a fork, making sure to leave some bigger chunks of avocado still in there. Immediately mix in your lemon juice with the avocado to avoid it turning brown (lime juice would be better, but I always have lemon juice in my kitchen staples).

I could eat a giant spoonful of the avocado and lemon just like this!

Chop your onion and cilantro, then add to the bowl with the salt and garlic.

Some people like to put tomato in their guacamole, and honestly, Los Gol’s guac has it in theirs. However, I find tomatoes tedious to work with when adding your guacamole because it can make it too watery if you don’t do it right. And in keeping with the honesty, I don’t think it adds enough flavor to make the hassle worth it. But if you do want tomatoes, make sure to remove all seeds first and then slice thinly and add to your guacamole.

Make sure your guacamole is well combined, but still leave some big chunks of avocado if you can. I generally taste test along the way to make sure I don’t need to add more salt or lemon juice. If you’re a guac-lover like me, you’ll know if and how much of which you’ll need to add.

I added some of my guacamole to simple chicken tacos for a tasty, easy dinner. Just cook your basic chicken, and add some sliced tomato, lettuce, and guac to a warmed tortilla. Yum.

Guacamole can be healthy, too! Scoop a little on a chicken sandwich, add some to fish tacos, or even eat with veggies (avocados have healthy fats when eaten in reasonable portions). However, there’s nothing better than sitting down with a big bowl of guacamole, tortilla chips, and a beer on a lazy Sunday afternoon. And since it’s avocado season, I am frequently whipping up this treat.