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With Father’s Day just around the corner dads all over the nation are prepping their grills for the second most notable BBQ day of the year (the first being 4th of July.) If the dads in your life want to spend the day at the grill, I say more power to ’em (and Whole Foods has a few grilling suggestions to help dear old dad prepare for the great grill off.) For my hubby though,  it’s tacos all the way!

The Taco Dad

From the moment I met my husband, he made his love of tacos known, which is why it was so surprising to me (having grown up in sunny California where Mexican food is plentiful) that my Maryland-born-and-raised hubby didn’t taste his first taco until around age 8 or 9!! Tacos were such a novelty to him that his first blissful bites were taken from the center of the shell (he had no idea you ate them end to end!) which gave his whole family a good laugh.  But taco eating etiquette and embarrassment aside, a lasting love affair was forged that day.

The Taco Bell of my sun-drenched youth

My husband still recalls fondly the year Taco Bell came to his hometown (again, as a native Californian, I cannot relate– I grew up with Taco Bell) and when he tasted his first authentic Taqueira style taco (not until he moved to the west coast.) But from that very first taco, every step along the way, he’s made note of the best tacos he’s ever had (Portland’s ¿Por Que No? is a fresh favorite.) Which is why, during our time together, I have perfected the art of the taco.

I make ground beef tacos, steak tacos, shrimp tacos, fish tacos, chicken tacos, turkey burger tacos, tofu tacos and his latest favorite, roasted pork tacos. I serve them up with rich red sauces, bright greens and savory spiced simmers –topped with spinach, shredded red cabbage, romaine, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, pineapple, mango (and all sorts of other fruit variations) and tangy crema with a wedge or two of lime.

All of them, every single flavor, holds a special place in his heart (as he does in mine) but being a boy reared on the seafood bounty of his native Maryland, he of course, loves a good shrimp taco. To me, a really good shrimp (or prawn) taco goes best with freshly made tomatillo sauce.

Because my hubby is the very BEST Dad I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, he deserves, at the very least, the tastiest batch of shrimp tacos for his special day.

Fresh Made Tomatillo Sauce

This sauce is awesome for slow roasting pork and chicken until it’s shredded and tender and then ready for filling tacos with but the best use of tomatillo, in my humble opinion, is with seafood. The bright, flavor and juicy mouthfeel, make for the most mouthwatering tacos you’ll ever have.

  • 6 to 8 (about 1 pound) fresh tomatillos or 1 can tomatillos
  • olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 can green chiles
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 handful of cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Remove the tomatillo husks, rinsing the stickiness off after peeling. Coat the tomatillos, garlic (leave it in its skin) and jalapeno in olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for  approximately 8 to 10 minutes.  If you leave the skin on the garlic, this will prevent it from browning too much and becoming bitter, instead roasting it soft.

Turn the oven to broil, allowing the outside skin of the tomatillos and jalapeno to char just a bit. Remove from oven and remove the stem, seeds and ribs from the jalapeno for mild heat or just the stem if you like it hotter. Let the ingredients cool slightly before adding to the blender, so as to avoid steam burns and splatters.

Add peeled garlic, jalapeno, tomatillos, green chiles (remember: remove seeds and ribs if you want mild sauce), 1/2 cup of chicken broth, raw diced onion and fresh cilantro to blender. Blend until smooth. Add seasoning and juice of lime and blend, adjusting seasoning to your preferences.

Pour sauce into a deep skillet with a 2 tsp of olive oil, stirring to mix evenly. Cook over med-low heat for 5 minutes to allow flavors to meld nicely.

Add shredded chicken, grilled shrimp, fish or shredded roast pork to the sauce and serve in fresh steamed or fried corn tortillas or do what we do and serve in crisp romaine lettuce leaves for a light and guilt-free meal. Top with shredded lettuce or cabbage, crema, and pineapple or mango salsa and a few wedges of juicy lime and watch dad grin from ear to ear.

The fixins for Mango, Cucumber, Avocado Salsa

Happy Father’s Day and Happy Eating to all the wonderful Dads!

Need some help with your Dad’s Day grilling techniques? Check out Whole Foods’ Guide to Grilling.

Want to make the tasty shrimp tacos above? Rest easy knowing that this year, Whole Foods Market became the first national retailer to stop selling red-rated wild seafood, so you know the seafood you’re enjoying was caught in a sustainable way from a populous species. Whole Foods Market uses Monterey Bay Aquarium’s or Blue Ocean Institute’s color-coded ratings to help shoppers make more informed choices at the seafood counter.

Disclaimer: As a sponsor of this blog, Whole Foods provided ingredients free of charge in order to facilitate these recipes. No monetary compensation was received for my opinions — they are, as always, truthfully my own.