Since we’ve started this blog, I’ve been much more adventurous in buying new foods. I’ve always tried new things at restaurants, parties or at my parent’s house. But over a number of years I stuck to my grocery list and never bought anything just because (just because: the label looked pretty, or the photo on the package enticed me).
Let me tell you, the “just because” purchases are the best ones ever! Obviously, it’s not until I get home that I read about the product I have bought. Sometimes it turns out to be a dud, it’s not very appetizing or just doesn’t work. Other times, it’s a winner!
This is one of the winners. Although I had seen masa harina- it’s the flour that makes tortillas and tamales, the dough is made out of dried masa- I never knew what I could make with it. Finally, I came across this recipe and I knew we had to try it. Of course, then when I do walk into a store and I need a specific item- they didn’t have it (why does that happen?)!
I’ve been thinking of putting in an order at Bob’s Red Mill for quite some time now, so there is no time like the present, right? I’m sure you’ve all seen Bob’s packages of various flours, beans and cereals in your grocery aisle. (I did order some other products, but that’s for another post!)
We haven’t had many mexican dishes recently, so I couldn’t wait for this one. The texture of this little taco is definitely not the same as a tortilla. It’s thicker, grainier, but it’s soft and lightly sweet. It’s hard to describe, which means you will all have to make this for dinner sometime soon.
Although we did do a shrimp salad, feel free to add anything- stewed meat with salsa, corn and black bean salad, or guacamole with some veggies. This is just an example of how versatile this dish can be.
Masa Harina Taco’s with Shrimp Salad
Adapted from: Big Girls Small Kitchen
1 1/2 cups masa harina
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water (room temperature)
1/4-1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 lbs peeled, deveined shrimp
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cup corn
1/4 cup mayonnaise
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 avocado, sliced or diced
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the masa harina and salt in a bowl. Mix well, and then add the water. Stir well until combined. Let it stand for about 5 minutes, the mixture should thicken.
Heat the oil in cast iron or non-stick pan. When the oil is heated, shape a patty out of the masa harina and gently add it to the oil. Cook for about 10 minutes, and then flip it over and cook it for another 5 minutes. Put the patty on a baking pan. Continue to do this until all of the masa harina was gone. (The number of patties will depend on how big or small you make them. We made ours smaller than hockey pucks, and had about 8 of them.) Once all of your patties have been made, put the baking pan into the oven for about 10 minutes.
Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Turn down the heat and add the shrimp. Boil the shrimp, covered, for about 3-4 minutes. Once the shrimp turns a pink color, drain and rinse with cold water. (If you use frozen corn, you can always add it to the water with the shrimp.) *Skip this step if you have cooked shrimp already*
Chop the shrimp into small pieces. Then add the chopped shrimp into a large mixing bowl. Add the red onion, mayo, lime juice, mustard, crushed red pepper flakes and jalapeño. Mix all of the ingredients together to make the shrimp salad.
Make each masa harina taco with some shrimp salad and avocado. Feel free to add hot sauce, cheese or lettuce (or anything else you’d like).