I wish today was Monday

Ever since Sydney was young (about 2 years old) Monday night has been our family’s Shrimp Fajita Night. My husband, DF, is a workaholic, but I have always insisted we have dinner as a family. Anyone with young children knows how hard it can be to have their little tummy’s waiting till 8:00 pm to eat dinner. Shrimp fajitas are easy, fun, and fast to bring together. In the early days Sydney was in charge of spices. (A good way to teach factions using measuring spoons). These days it has become a family affair preparing the shrimp fajitas; DF peels, deveins and cleans the shrimp (for a faster dinner buy shrimp already deveined). Sydney cuts the vegetables and prepares the guacamole. I prepare the marinate, cook the shrimp and vegetables. The entire preparation and cooking time is less than 30 minutes.

Shrimp Fajita Recipe:

Serves: Four people

(per gallon bag, two gallon bags needed to marinate the shrimp and the vegetables)

1-medium cast iron skillet

24 count medium shrimp

2 yellow squash, sliced in long strips

1-zucchini, sliced in long strips

1-pound assorted mushrooms

4 scallions, green sand white cut on diagonal

1/4-cup dry sherry

3 splashes worcestershire sauce

2-teaspoons tomato paste

1 1/2 lemons, per bag or 3 total and the zest of 1

1 1/2 limes, per bag or 3 total and the zest of 1

1- tablespoon fajita seasoning

1/2-teaspoon sweet paprika

1/2-teaspoon adobo seasoning

1/2-teaspoon chili powder

1/4-teaspoon cayenne pepper

Dash cinnamon

1/2-tablespoon brown sugar

1/2- tablespoon parsley

1-tablespoon cilantro

2 springs fresh oregano, coarsely cut

1-bag tortillas

Fleur de sel

Prepare your mise en place, and heat the cast iron pan. Preheat the oven to 80 degrees C/ 175 F. wrap the tortillas in tin foil and place in the oven. You can heat them on the open flame, but I find they stay warmer longer if kept in tinfoil.

mise en place

Clean, peel, and devein the shrimp once the the marinate and vegetables have been prepped; you can purchase the shrimp deveined and peeled. I prefer doing this step, the less unknown hands touching my shrimp the less chance of contamination.

shrimp with shell, prior to cleaning and deveining

 To devein the shrimp run a sharp paring knife down the top to the tail, place the tip of the knife under the vein and lift upwards. Discard the vein.

DF deveining the shrimp

Place two gallon bags in two separate bowls, pour the sherry, splash of the worcestershire sauce, squeeze the tomato paste, lemons and limes. Add the fajita season, adobo seasoning, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, paprika, cinnamon, brown sugar, parsley, cilantro, oregano, gently squeeze the bottom of the bag to combine the ingredients.The bowls are not necessary, but can save the marinate and cleaning time, if there happens to be a hole in the bag.

Season to your heat your liking

Allow the shrimp to marinate for about 7 to 10 minutes and the vegetables 12 minutes minimum.

Do not allow the shrimp to turn pink

Add about 8 shrimp to the HOT cast iron skillet, don’t over crowd the skillet or you will end up with steamed shrimp instead of beautifully seared shrimp.

It is fun to watch the shrimp curve

When the shrimp has turned pink 1/2 of the way up, using a pair of tongs flip the shrimp over to the other side. Sydney and I prefer to pour a little marinate after turning the shrimp onto it’s other side.

The aroma is intoxicating

Generally we cook the shrimp in three batches of 8 shrimp; sprinkle them with fleur de del as they cook and sprinkle with lime/lemon zest mixture after being transferred to a plate, but still hot.

Spray the skillet with grill spray and the vegetable in 3 batches.

Choose any vegetables your family likes, or they can be optional

While vegetable are searing prepare guacamole; cut two avocados, running a sharp knife around the avocado vertically, twist the avocado at the slice line, take the middle of the knife blade, hit the pit and discard the pit.

Be careful, hit only the pit

If you hit the pit against a bowl it will fall off without having to touch the blade

Family secret rice: stop by Quobas ask for two bowls of rice. Their rice is awesome, but if you want to prepare your own it is cooked rice with lime juice and cilantro. When the last batch of vegetables have began to cook place a damp paper towel over the top of the rice and reheat in a microwave. (Remember to remove the plastic top prior to microwaving!)


Sydney and I both build our fajitas the same way: a layer of guacamole, a layer of rice, vegetables, and shrimp, maybe a little more guacamole.

Turn into a burrito

Burrito: Fold the bottom half of the tortilla without the filling on it, up over the filling. Make sure the flap overlaps  the filling. Fold one of the long sides over the flap and the filling. Tuck the edge under the filling. This works best with a warm burrito.

If shrimp is not your favorite protein, this recipe works great with steak, chicken, buffalo, tofu, or vegetables alone.

I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as mine!


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