Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with these shrimp tacos

Credit: Linda Gassenheimer

Credit: Linda Gassenheimer

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, 3/4 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. Parmesan cheese.

Staples: olive oil, salt and black peppercorns.


Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

2 poblano peppers, (about 1 cup sliced)

4 6-inch whole-wheat flour tortillas

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup frozen chopped onion

2 ounces lean ham (about 1/2 cup sliced)

3/4 pound peeled and deveined shrimp

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Preheat broiler. Place poblano peppers on a foil-lined tray and place under the broiler for 3 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 3 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 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook 3 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 2 tacos per person.

Yield 2 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.


Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 1/2 cups canned, rinsed and drained pinto beans

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons 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.

Yield 2 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.

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