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Blackened Shrimp Burritos Recipe

shrimp burrito on white dish
shrimp burrito on white dish - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

There's something about burritos that people just love. Combining warm rice, fillings of meat, fish, or beans, and cheesy, creamy, and tangy ingredients that complete the whole results in a hearty, filing, and delicious meal that we've been reaching for since they first appeared on a Los Angeles restaurant menu in the 1930s. While their popularity has soared in the US, these modern burritos differ from the originals served in Mexico.

It's easy to customize a burrito to our tastes since they contain many separate ingredients that are rolled up in a tortilla at the end. Recipe developer Michelle Bottalico has created a recipe for a blackened shrimp burrito that brings several delicious ingredients together for a tasty and satisfying whole. Blackened shrimp are packed with flavor from the Cajun-inspired spice coating, and cilantro-lime rice provides another layer of bright and herby flavor. Warm Monterey Jack and queso fresco cheeses, lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream are rolled up with the shrimp and rice for a singular taste experience.

This recipe takes about an hour to make, plus the time to chop and shred some of the ingredients, but if you make the rice and marinate the shrimp ahead of time, it will cook up quickly and can be enjoyed even on busier days. Whether you impress your friends with restaurant-quality burritos or keep them for yourself, you won't be disappointed.

Read more: Ina Garten's 12 Best Cleaning Tips For A Mess-Free Kitchen

Gather Your Blackened Shrimp Burrito Ingredients

shrimp burrito ingredients on table
shrimp burrito ingredients on table - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

For this recipe, you'll first need to marinate shrimp; besides the shrimp, you'll need olive oil, garlic, cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, onion powder, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, and pepper for the marinade. The cilantro-lime rice calls for long-grain white rice -- such as jasmine or basmati -- salt, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. For the burritos, grab some large flour tortillas with a diameter of about 12 inches. The shrimp and rice will be topped with Monterey Jack and queso fresco cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream. Finally, have guacamole and hot sauce on hand for serving, if desired.

Step 1: Coat The Shrimp

shrimp in bowl of marinade
shrimp in bowl of marinade - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

Place the shrimp, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and the rest of the blackened shrimp ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well to coat the shrimp evenly in the oil and spices.

Step 2: Let The Shrimp Marinate

covered bowl of marinating shrimp
covered bowl of marinating shrimp - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

Cover the bowl and let it marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Boil The Rice Water

small pot of boiling water
small pot of boiling water - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

Meanwhile, make the cilantro-lime rice by first pouring ¾ cup water into a small saucepan and bringing it to a boil.

Step 4: Cook The Rice

rice simmering in small pot
rice simmering in small pot - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

Add the rice and salt and stir well. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Let the rice simmer for 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed.

Step 5: Mix The Cilantro-Lime Rice Ingredients

cilantro lime rice in pot
cilantro lime rice in pot - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the cilantro, lime juice, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. Taste and adjust for salt, if desired. Set aside.

Step 6: Heat The Oil

oil heating in iron pan
oil heating in iron pan - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

After the shrimp has marinated, heat the other 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet on medium-high.

Step 7: Add The Shrimp

shrimp in cast iron pan
shrimp in cast iron pan - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

When the oil is hot (a splash of water should sizzle), place the shrimp in a single layer in the skillet. Don't add any extra marinade liquid beyond what is coating the shrimp. Do this in two batches if you have a smaller skillet.

Step 8: Cook The Shrimp

shrimp cooking in heavy skillet
shrimp cooking in heavy skillet - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

Cook the shrimp for 2 minutes per side, until the exteriors are blackened and the interiors are opaque. Remove from the heat.

Step 9: Warm The Tortillas

tortillas heating in frying pan
tortillas heating in frying pan - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

Warm the tortillas in an ungreased frying pan on medium-low for about 30 seconds per side.

Step 10: Place The Rice In The Tortillas

rice in large flour tortilla
rice in large flour tortilla - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

To assemble the burritos, first place a heaping ⅓ cup of cilantro-lime rice at the center of each tortilla.

Step 11: Add The Shrimp Layer

shrimp and rice in tortilla
shrimp and rice in tortilla - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

Evenly distribute the shrimp among the 4 tortillas.

Step 12: Add The Toppings

shrimp and toppings in tortilla
shrimp and toppings in tortilla - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

Top each burrito with ¼ of the Monterey Jack cheese, queso fresco, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream.

Step 13: Roll The Burritos

rolled burrito sitting on table
rolled burrito sitting on table - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

Fold the short ends of the burrito in and carefully roll the burritos closed longways. Finish with the seam facing down.

Step 14: Serve Your Blackened Shrimp Burritos

shrimp burrito served on table
shrimp burrito served on table - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

Serve immediately with guacamole and hot sauce on the side, if desired.

What Is Blackened Shrimp?

blackened shrimp burrito on table
blackened shrimp burrito on table - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

Blackening shrimp is a delicious way to cook this versatile and popular seafood. Blackened shrimp seasoning is a flavor-packed mix of spices and herbs that thickly coats each piece of shrimp. Marinating the shrimp first in the seasoning and oil allows the shrimp to take on even more flavor. The blackening happens in the pan, but this doesn't have anything to do with burning them -- there's a difference between blackening and charring.

Charring refers to actually burning some parts of a food like meat while cooking it with high heat; on the grill, for example. Blackening, on the other hand, traces back to chef Paul Prudhomme in the 1980s, who wanted to replicate the flavor of Louisiana's Cajun and Creole grilling on the stovetop in his restaurant, K Pauls', in New Orleans. He coated fish in butter and spices and cooked it on high heat in a cast-iron skillet. This seared the fish and gave it a dark color and special flavor.

Should I Use Raw Or Cooked Shrimp To Make Blackened Shrimp Burritos?

open shrimp burrito on table
open shrimp burrito on table - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

We recommend that you use raw shrimp to make this recipe. If you buy shrimp that are already cooked, they will need to be cooked again after they marinate so that they can be blackened and infused with the flavor of the spices and herbs. Unfortunately, cooking them too much will give them a rubbery and unpleasant texture. Shrimp only take 5 minutes to cook, and they taste best when allowed to retain their softness and lightness. Cook them just until their flesh turns opaque white. Another reason to buy raw shrimp is because cooked shrimp will not absorb the marinade properly. If fresh shrimp is not available in your area or if they are cost-prohibitive, you can use frozen shrimp instead. Frozen shrimp can be a better buy, and they cook up well in this recipe. Just make sure to defrost them before you coat them in the marinade.

How Can I Defrost Frozen Shrimp To Make Blackened Shrimp Burritos?

raw shrimp defrosting in water
raw shrimp defrosting in water - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

If you are using frozen shrimp to make these burritos, allow some time to defrost them before you prepare the marinade. This is an important step because frozen shrimp won't absorb the marinade the way thawed shrimp will. You can easily defrost them by placing them in a large bowl of cold water for 20–30 minutes. Seal the shrimp in a ziplock bag before placing them in the water to avoid them becoming waterlogged.

Some argue that the best way to defrost shrimp is to place them in an uncovered colander in the refrigerator overnight. Place a bowl beneath the colander to collect any liquid that drains off of them. This will keep the shrimp dry, unlike the plastic bag method, where liquid can accumulate in the bag and won't be able to escape. Dry shrimp are preferred because wet shrimp will take more time to cook and sear, which makes it easy to overcook them.

Blackened Shrimp Burritos Recipe

shrimp burrito on white dish
shrimp burrito on white dish - Michelle Bottalico/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 25mCook Time: 30mYield: 4 burritosIngredients

  • :::For the blackened shrimp:::

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (thawed, if frozen)

  • 1 + 1 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder

  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

  • :::For the cilantro-lime rice:::

  • ½ cup long-grain white rice, such as jasmine or basmati

  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 small clove garlic, finely minced

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

  • :::For the burritos:::

  • 4 12-inch diameter flour tortillas

  • ¾ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  • ¾ cup crumbled queso fresco

  • 1 cup shredded lettuce

  • 1 cup pico de gallo

  • ½ cup sour cream

Optional Ingredients

  • Guacamole, for serving

  • Hot sauce, for serving

Directions

  1. Place the shrimp, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and the rest of the blackened shrimp ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well to coat the shrimp evenly in the oil and spices.

  2. Cover the bowl and let it marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, make the cilantro-lime rice by first pouring ¾ cup water into a small saucepan and bringing it to a boil.

  4. Add the rice and salt and stir well. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Let the rice simmer for 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed.

  5. Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the cilantro, lime juice, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. Taste and adjust for salt, if desired. Set aside.

  6. After the shrimp has marinated, heat the other 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet on medium-high.

  7. When the oil is hot (a splash of water should sizzle), place the shrimp in a single layer in the skillet. Don't add any extra marinade liquid beyond what is coating the shrimp. Do this in two batches if you have a smaller skillet.

  8. Cook the shrimp for 2 minutes per side, until the exteriors are blackened and the interiors are opaque. Remove from the heat.

  9. Warm the tortillas in an ungreased frying pan on medium-low for about 30 seconds per side.

  10. To assemble the burritos, first place a heaping ⅓ cup of cilantro-lime rice at the center of each tortilla.

  11. Evenly distribute the shrimp among the 4 tortillas.

  12. Top each burrito with ¼ of the Monterey Jack cheese, queso fresco, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream.

  13. Fold the short ends of the burrito in and carefully roll the burritos closed longways. Finish with the seam facing down.

  14. Serve immediately with guacamole and hot sauce on the side, if desired.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.