Aug 16, 2016

Surf & Turf Tacos with Chimichurri “Aioli” & Crispy Onions

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
The sweet shrimp offset the smoky beef and I ended up with a zesty surf and turf.

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Tacos seem to taste better when eaten on a Tuesday and “Taco Tuesday” has become a tradition at my house.  I like to spice up my weekly taco dinner in a variety of different ways, and recently I came up with this surf and turf taco recipe that used both shrimp and steak topped with herb aioli.

The sweet shrimp offset the smoky beef and I ended up with a zesty surf and turf. (I like to cut the tails of the shrimp and chop both the shrimp and the steak into pieces for easier eating, but if you want a nicer presentation, feel free to leave the shrimp whole and the tails on the shrimp.

Surf & Turf Tacos with Chimichurri “Aioli” & Crispy Onions

surf and turf tacos with chimmichurri aioli

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Shrimp – The terms “jumbo” and “extra jumbo” and “colossal” aren’t standardized terms within the industry. Instead look at the numbers – they estimate approximately how many shrimp are in 1 pound. The shrimp should be peeled and deveined before beginning the recipe. 
  • Steak – I use flank steak for this recipe. This cut comes from the bottom abdominal part of the cow. Because of the location it is lean with hard-working muscles and creating tougher fibers. I like using this cut for this recipe because it can be quickly pan seared and sliced.
  • “Aioli” – Rather than making an aioli from scratch with egg yolks and oil I opt to make a shortcut by dressing up mayonnaise. I whisk in a bit of olive oil, vinegar, shallot, lime juice, pepper and herbs for a creamy and herby aioli.

How to Make Surf and Turf Tacos

For the garlic shrimp:

  1. Heat pan. Season the shrimp on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the butter and allow to melt.
  2. Cook the shrimp. Add the garlic and stir for 10 seconds. Add the shrimp and sauté on until cooked through and lightly browned on both sides, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the steak:

  1. Sear steak. Season the beef with olive oil, salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the beef about 4 minutes each side for medium-rare.
  2. Let the meat rest. Remove from the pan and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

For the chimichurri “aioli”:

  1. Make the “aioli”. In a medium bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, olive oil, red wine vinegar, shallot and lime juice until all ingredients are completely incorporated.
  2. Whisk in the herbs. Add the cilantro, parsley and oregano and whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the crispy onions:

  1. Make the dredge. In a medium bowl, add the buttermilk and the onions. Add the flour to another shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 350°F.
  2. Dredge the onions. Add the onions to the flour and toss to coat. Shake the excess flour from the onions then add to the oil.
  3. Make the crispy onions. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.

For serving:

  1. Assemble tortillas. Chop the steak and shrimp into bite-sized pieces. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the tortillas one at a time to warm and lightly crisp them on both sides, about 30 seconds each side. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  2. Garnish and serve. Top the tortillas with the steak and shrimp, radish, crispy onions and chimichurri aioli. Serve immediately.
surf and turf closeup

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this surf and turf tacos recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Surf & Turf Tacos with Chimichurri “Aioli” & Crispy Onions

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the garlic shrimp:

  • ¾ pound 26-30 shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

For the steak:

  • 1 pound flank steak
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the chimichurri “aioli”:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon diced fresno pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano

For the crispy onions:

  • ½ medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For serving:

  • 8 small flour tortillas
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced radishes, for garnish

Instructions:

For the garlic shrimp:

  • Season the shrimp on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the butter and allow to melt.
  • Add the garlic and stir for 10 seconds. Add the shrimp and sauté on until cooked through and lightly browned on both sides, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the steak:

  • Season the beef with olive oil, salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the beef about 4 minutes each side for medium-rare.
  • Remove from the pan and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

For the chimichurri “aioli”:

  • In a medium bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, olive oil, red wine vinegar, shallot and lime juice until all ingredients are completely incorporated.
  • Add the cilantro, parsley and oregano and whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the crispy onions:

  • In a medium bowl, add the buttermilk and the onions. Add the flour to another shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 350°F.
  • Add the onions to the flour and toss to coat. Shake the excess flour from the onions then add to the oil. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.

For serving:

  • Chop the steak and shrimp into bite-sized pieces. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the tortillas one at a time to warm and lightly crisp them on both sides, about 30 seconds each side. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  • Top the tortillas with the steak and shrimp, radish, crispy onions and chimichurri aioli. Serve immediately.

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  1. What are the “greens” used in the Surf/Turf Taco picture?
    Can’t find any mention of them in the recipe.