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- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes or 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 to 3 dried chiles de arbol, stemmed
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning the shrimp
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for cooking the tacos
- 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 16 corn tortillas
- 3 cups grated melting cheese, such as asadero, Oaxaca, Monterey Jack, or mozzarella (12 ounces)
- 1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted, and thinly sliced
- Combine the fresh tomatoes, if using, garlic, and chiles de arbol in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes, garlic, and chiles are soft. Drain and transfer to a blender.
- Add the oregano, tomato paste, and salt to the blender, add the canned tomatoes, if using, and puree until smooth.
- Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Pour in the tomato puree, using the lid to shield yourself from splatters, cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, until the mixture has thickened and darkened. Remove from the heat.
- Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tbsp of the butter with 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Once the butter melts and begins to foam, add half the shrimp and sear for a minute or so per side. They should be browned on the outside but just cooked through. Be careful not to overcook, or they will be rubbery. Scrape into a bowl and repeat with the remaining butter, oil, and shrimp.
- Heat a comal or large skillet over medium heat for at least 5 minutes. Add a tablespoon or two of oil to the surface.
- Briefly dip a tortilla into the sauce, making sure the entire tortilla is coated (I use a pair of rubber-tipped tongs, but you can just use your hands), and lay on the pan. Dip a second tortilla into the sauce and lay in the pan next to the first one, making sure the tortillas are not overlapping (see note). Top each tortilla with about 2 Tbsp shredded cheese and cook for a couple of minutes, until the cheese begins to melt and the bottoms of the sauced tortillas begin to dry and brown a little. Then, using a spatula, scrape up one tortilla and stack on top of the other one, cheese side up. Don’t worry if the tortilla you scraped up sticks and tears a little bit or if it does not sit evenly on top of the other one. Spoon some seared shrimp on top of the stack, gently fold the stack in half, and cook for a couple of minutes longer, turning the stack over occasionally, until the cheese has begun to ooze out and create a crust.
- Top with slices of ripe avocado and serve (these are best straight out of the comal), or transfer to a plate or platter and cover with foil to keep warm while you cook the remaining stacks.
Excerpted from Pati Jinich Treasures of the Mexican Table: Classic Recipes, Local Secrets © 2021 by Pati Jinich. Photography © 2021 by Angie Mosier. Reproduced by permission of Mariner Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Calories: 586kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 54g | Sodium: 2056mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 3g
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