The end of summer… It used to be such a bittersweet time for me before I moved to the desert. Now, it is invigorating! While it is still hitting (or getting very close to) 100°F here in Tucson, the mornings and evenings are cooling and outdoor weather is on the horizon! While many people in the Northern Hemisphere are finishing their outdoor time, we are just getting started. Let’s face it, if you don’t have a swimming pool, 100° and sunny is not conducive to outdoor activity. But our late fall, winter and early spring here have beautiful days with perfect “active” temperatures. It’s finally hiking season and biking season and we can walk/run and play tennis after 7am!
One way we marked the end of the season here was with a seafood boil! My Dad (who lives with us) splurged for some great seafood and we had our family bubble here for a feast of super large shrimp, amazing King Crab, corn, potatoes and flavorful sausage (I know, I know, not the healthiest – hence the splurge!). It was fun and a decadent feast that we will remember for some time.
Needless to say, we had too few adults to finish it all, so we had some leftover seafood and this is one of the ways I used it. I also made an amazing seafood stew that I may have to put on the blog one of these days. But for now, grab yourself some crab and/or shrimp and make these simple tacos. You’ll be glad you did.
The best part, however, just has to be the Spicy Green Grape Salsa that I made to go with them. I was totally inspired by Carolina Gelen (@carolinagelen) who is a recipe developer and influencer who can style the crap out of any food! If you want food styling inspiration, you should totally check her out! Thanks Carolina (and your fiancé) for the inspo!
This salsa takes about 7 minutes to make and it sits and marinates nicely while you make the tacos. Feel free to use red grapes or a combination of red and green. It would be so pretty! You can use any seafood you like for these tacos. Shrimp, crab, white fish, battered fish and even chicken or pork tacos would take well to this grape salsa. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients for the salsa, it will turn out great even with just sweet grapes, chiles, onion and lime juice!
Here’s to the end of summer. Goodbye is such sweet sorrow!
Spicy King Crab Tacos with Green Grape Salsa
King Crab (or Shrimp) Tacos
- 1 pound King Crab or Shrimp or seafood of choice prepped and cut into bite-sized pieces if necessary
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin, divided
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1½ tablespoons tequila optional
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic or dried granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper or use 1 T adobo sauce in can of chipotle peppers
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon hot paprika or ancho chile powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup red onion finely diced
- 2 serrano chiles finely diced, more or less to taste
- 1/2 English cucumber seeds removed and finely diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest optional
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground mace optional - can sub a pinch of nutmeg
- 2 cups green grapes can use red, green or combination, chopped small
- 1/3 cup cilantro chopped
- avocado slices
- cilantro leaves
- Peel, prep and very roughly chop King Crab and/or Shrimp. Place in a medium bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and remaining taco ingredients (lime juice through black pepper) and mix till everything is combine and seafood is completely coated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
- While seafood is marinating, prepare the grape salsa and prep your tortillas (see note below) and toppings.
- Once Grape Salsa is made, heat the remaining 1 T olive oil in a saute pan until hot, drain any extra liquid from the crab/shrimp and add them to the hot pan. Cook 1-2 minutes without stirring, then flip and cook 1 minute more (or until opaque). If using pre-cooked crab, cook 1-2 minutes only or until hot and sizzling.
- Remove crab/shrimp from heat and create your tacos by spooning crab/shrimp combo onto your tortillas, top with grape salsa, extra cilantro leaves and avocado slices. Enjoy!
- Combine onion, chiles and cucumber with lime juice and zest, vinegar, honey, garlic powder, salt and mace. Stir well and let sit at least 10 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients (grapes and cilantro) and toss to combine. Set aside until served.
- Steam your tortillas by wrapping them in a lint-free towel and placing them in a steamer basket over simmering water for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and let them stay warm until ready to serve.
- Steam in the microwave by wrapping them in a lint-free towel and cooking them on high for 2 minutes. This method should only be done at the last minute right before serving or the tortillas can get dried out or even rubbery.
- My preferred way is to cook the tortillas on a very hot skillet (I prefer cast-iron) for a minute or so per side and then wrap them, to keep warm, in a lint-free towel until ready to serve.
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 ounces tequila, (blanco or silver)
- 1 ounce Triple Sec (or orange liqueur)
- Honey or simple syrup, optional
- Lime wedge and salt for rim, if desired