Conveniently, this recipe utilizes (but amps up) a bunch of ingredients I bet you already have lurking in your fridge door. It also comes together pretty fast. The marinade is bright and spicy! —Cristina Sciarra
2 hungry people
1 14.5-ounce can of good quality black beans
4 cloves of garlic, divided
2 sprigs of thyme
¼-½ cup of sour cream, depending on your affinity for sour cream
1 tablespoon chives, minced
juice of 1 lemon
zest of ¼ a lemon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon hot sauce (use your favorite)
3 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)
1 ripe avocado
1 medium tomato
about 1 pound of wild, jumbo shrimp, shells removed and deveined
Prepare the beans: Rinse the beans, and then empty them into a medium saucepan or a small Dutch oven. Add ½ cup of water. Roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic; it’s no beauty contest, you just want to extract the flavor. To remove the thyme leaves, simply pinch each sprig with two fingers and pull downward; the leaves will come right off. Cover the pan and cook the beans over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the water has evaporated. Add salt, to taste.
Prepare the sour cream: Put the desired amount of sour cream into a bowl. Zest ½ the lime straight into the bowl, and then add your minced chives. I like to cover the bowl with plastic and let it sit in the fridge for 20 minutes or so, just so the flavors start to come together.
Prepare the marinade: Mince the remaining two cloves of garlic. In a large bowl, add: the lemon juice and zest, the cayenne pepper, a crack of black pepper, the garlic, the hot sauce and the avocado oil. Whisk it all together with a fork, and then add a healthy pinch of sea salt. Set the bowl aside.
Prepare the guacamole: Cut the avocado in half. To remove the pit, stab it pretty forcefully (be careful!) with a sharp knife; twist and pull. Score each half of the avocado, and then squeeze out the pieces into a medium bowl. Dice the tomato, and add that to the bowl too. Mix in the juice of ½ the lime, and then add salt and pepper, to taste.
Prepare the shrimp: Marinate the shrimp for up to 10 minutes. (Any more and your shrimp will turn into ceviche.) In the meantime, preheat the grill pan over medium heat. When it's hot, grill the shrimp for about 2 minutes on each side; you want them to be just cooked through, and not at all tough.
At the last minute, throw the tortillas into the toaster oven for a quick spell, so they puff up a bit. Pile everything on top of the tortillas and serve alongside an arugula and radish salad with lemony vinaigrette, if you like.
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.