Mary Cooks: Shrimp Burritos

Here's a quick and easy summer meal that comes together fast and doesn't heat up the whole house. By keeping this burrito simple, the light flavor of the shrimp and fresh salsa come through for a satisfying dinner that doesn't leave you feeling bloated. As if the heat weren't already enough.

For my Shrimp Burritos, you will need start with the salsa. Salsa in its simplest form is tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Many feel that cilantro is a must. While it does add a little palate-cleansing freshness, personally I can live without it. What I need in my salsa is citrus.

For tonight's salsa, I used heirloom cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, a little garlic, and a little shallot. I also learned why you should take inventory of your ingredients before you start cooking. Once I had everything cut and ready for the immersion blender, I realized that we had no citrus fruit in the house.

In a move that my counterpart is sure to comment on later, I added a splash of lemonade. Here's why this works: It adds the necessary zip that comes from citrus (lemon, lime, orange, whatever). But it also adds some sugar to cut the bitter in the peppers, garlic, and shallots without clashing with the sugar in the tomatoes or blunting the heat from the peppers. I pulsed the immersion blender about five times and placed the salsa in the fridge to chill.

For the shrimp, you will want to steam them on the stovetop. How long this takes will depend on the size and quantity of your shrimp. I used four tiger shrimp that were only partially defrosted. They cooked through in about 15 minutes. Also, you should steam your shrimp in the shells and shell them once they are cooked.

And, if you are using large shrimp like mine, you'll want to cut them up once they are shelled. 

Once the shrimp is cooked and cut, you'll also need an avocado and some sour cream. Note that I am forgoing the beans and cheese ans they will weigh this down and won't taste right here. Well, maybe the right kind of cheese, but certainly not the beans. I am also omitting the cabbage slaw that usually adorns fish tacos. I consider the cabbage to be a proper culinary mistake on the tacos and certainly a disaster here.

To prep your tortilla, heat it in a flat skillet over low heat on the stovetop. You'll want to warm it so that it loses some of its stiffness. This will make it easier to roll and will prevent tearing.

To assemble the burrito, place the warm tortilla on a large plate. Add the avocado first, placing it in the center. Then place the shrimp on top of it. Spoon the sour cream on one side of the shrimp and the salsa on the other side. Carefully fold up the bottom over the filling. Then bring one of the sides over and line it up with the other and roll tightly, tucking in the bottom securely.

And that's it - avocado, shrimp, sour cream, and salsa. The whole thing came together for me in about 30 minutes.