in the kitchen with: cheryl and griffith day’s shrimp tacos with spiced peach jam


Peaches are one of those fruits I look forward to each year, perhaps the only one I get really, really excited about. If you need something to do with your leftover peaches as the season winds down, try this recipe for Shrimp Tacos with Spiced Peach Jam by Cheryl and Griffith Day, the Savannah-based owners of Back in the Day Bakery. Don’t get hung up on the peaches, though, because the rest of the taco is fantastic. If you make the peach jam in advance, once you prepare your shrimp, the recipe comes together as fast as you can make all the tortillas, in about 15 minutes. This recipe came at a great time, as I’ve found a few new great Mexican cookbooks, and Cheryl has shown me how easy it is to make corn tortillas. I’ll never do store-bought again! — Kristina

About Cheryl and Griffith: Cheryl and Griffith Day, self-taught bakers, opened Back in the Day Bakery, a neighborhood bakeshop in Savannah, Georgia, in 2002. The bakery is recognized nationally and locally for its homespun decadent desserts and delicious rustic breads, as well as the warm and friendly atmosphere that has made them a food landmark. Cheryl honed her skills in her mother and grandmother’s kitchen, and Griff’s interest in baking was piqued as a child by the magical sourdough starter that his mother kept in the family kitchen. They are currently working on their first cookbook due out next spring with Artisan books called Back in the Day Baking. In it, they will share some of their favorite recipes accompanied by personal stories about creating food memories with family and friends. They had the pleasure of creating Grace and Aaron’s wedding cake and breads for their destination wedding in Savannah.

The full recipe continues after the jump . . .

Shrimp Tacos with Spiced Peach Jam

Spiced Peach Jam
Makes 2 cups

  • 1 pound fresh peaches, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preparation

In a heavy medium-size saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture has thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 1 week.

How to Peel a Peach

The best way to remove the skin but preserve the fruit is to first blanch them. Using a small paring knife, cut a small “x” into the bottom of the peach. Fill a bowl with ice-cold water and set aside. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil on the stove. Gently place peaches, one at a time, in the boiling water for about a minute. Remove the peach with a slotted spoon, and dunk it immediately into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Using the paring knife, gently pull the skin away from the fruit.

Blackened Seasoning

  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon hot paprika
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

Preparation

Combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight container.

Corn Tortillas
Makes about 16 to 18 balls from the dough

  • 2 cups of masa flour
  • 1 1/4  to 1 1/2 cups warm water

Preparation

To make the dough:
Place 2 cups of masa flour in a large bowl. Add 1 1/4  to 1 1/2 cups of warm water to the masa flour (according to the directions on the package, as some brands vary). Start mixing the masa flour with your hands to make the dough. Work the dough for several minutes. Press the dough with your fingers and the palms of your hands as if you were kneading bread dough. The dough will come together, and it will look smooth and consistent.

Add a little more water as needed if it seems too dry. Take a piece of the masa dough and shape it into a ball the size of a plum.


To press the tortillas:
Take two pieces of wax paper and cut them in the shape of the tortilla press. Open the tortilla press, or use a heavy skillet, and lay one piece of wax paper on the press. Place the masa ball on the wax paper in the center, place the other piece of wax paper on top of the ball and gently close the press down until the dough has spread to about 6 inches around. Remove the tortilla from the wax paper, and follow the directions for cooking the tortillas. Continue pressing the rest of the dough balls into tortillas.

To cook the tortillas:
Heat the griddle or a large skillet on high heat. Peel off the wax paper on each side, and carefully place one tortilla at a time into the hot skillet. Cook each tortilla about 30 seconds on each side until they are lightly toasted and air pockets begin to form. Remove the tortillas to a tortilla warmer lined with a dishtowel, or wrap them in a dishtowel to keep them warm. Serve immediately.

To Prepare Bacon (optional)
Makes 4 servings

  • 12 pieces of apple smoke bacon

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until browned and slightly crispy. Remove from heat, and place on paper towels to remove excess grease.

To Prepare Shrimp
Makes 4 servings

  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, cleaned and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons blackened seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease (optional)

Coat shrimp with blackened seasoning; toss to coat. Add bacon grease to a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp to skillet, stirring constantly. When the shrimp turn pink, remove one and test for doneness by cutting it in half. If the shrimp are no longer translucent, they are done. Remove from the heat as soon as the shrimp are done.

Toppings and Variations
Different ingredients to garnish your tacos:

  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup cilantro, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced

To Assemble

Place 2 to 3 shrimp on each corn tortilla, add 1 slice of bacon (optional), a pinch or two of cilantro, a few slices of red onion and 1 tablespoon of spiced peach jam.


Why Cheryl Chose This Recipe
Our first book, Back in the Day Baking (from Artisan books) is due out next spring. This recipe is not in that book, but it shows a bit of what we like to cook at home when we are just hanging out with friends.

My husband, Griff, and I love to cook with ingredients that celebrate the seasons found at the neighborhood farmers’ market. In Savannah, we are fortunate enough to have an abundance of wild jumbo shrimp, red snapper, tilapia and of course, fresh Georgia peaches, which brings Tuesday taco nights to another level. I always like to encourage people to experiment with local flavors in their neck of the woods. We love making this savory jam out of peaches, which is a great recipe to make in advance. After a long day at the bakery, it is the perfect quick and easy meal on a hot summer night. (Portrait by Christine Hall)



ThatCleverClementine

Of course, there’s nothing like fresh shrimp. But combined with the wonderfulness that is this season’s peaches? Oh. My. Bob.

Swoooooon!

Jamie

The combo of sweat peaches and spicy shrimp sounds amazing!

Amy

I second what Bev said. Thank you for including the tortilla recipe too…fresh tortilla are so great.

Nate

These shrimp/peach tacos look incredible. I love Cheryl and Griff’s Back in the Day bakery in Savannah and can vouch for the awesomeness in every way.

Julia's Bookbag

I don’t know what I’m more excited to try in this recipe, the seasoned shrimp or that SPICED PEACH JAM!! I think the jam might win. I am so there!

Nadine

I’m sitting here reading this, absolutely hungry because it’s dinner time here (near 7 pm). The peach jam sounds fabulous, and I will definitely give this a try. Tonight on my menu: a Niçoise pissaladière (a sweet/caramilsed onion tart with anchovy) and a tuna/white bean salad. Very Mediterranean :-D

Amanda

I know a little princess named Amanda that’s very excited for shrimp tacos with fresh Gulf Coast shrimp!!! Delightful summertime dinner, and maybe pair it with some Kendall Jackson? I think so :-)

talley

good tex mex is hard to come by in zürich as are many of the ingredients to make it at home so thank you for the taco recipe and especially for the corn tortilla recipe. This will certainly be a ‘haus’ staple, peach shrimp in the summer and steak and beans in the winter. delicious!

haylie

oh my! this looks amazing <3
cheryl & griff are brilliant. i crave their bakery lunches & the sweets, daily!!
and now these tacos will be running through my dreams tonight… YUMMY!
xo

sara

Odd when worlds collide: I’m always at Back in the Day; I’m totally and utterly obsessive about reading DesignSponge…

Terry

This looks so yummy! I have to ask though, what are the white chunks? Looks like some kind of gorgeous cheese-or is avocado that didn’t come across with the true color in the pic? Regardless, I’m going to have to make these-haven’t made my own tortillas before, but looks easy enough.

Nancy Lee

I’m wondering how fast I can get my hands on some peaches in order to make this recipe. It sounds delightful, from the jam to the blackened shrimp to the handmade tortillas! The sweet photo at the bottom of the post was the final, over-the-top clincher for the best recipe and cutest, most whimsical couple I have seen online, well, ever! Thank you, Cheryl.

kristina

Hi Terry,

The pale green “white chunks” with the avocado green edges on them are indeed avocado. Thank you for pointing it out though, next time I try to photograph something with avocado in it, I will try to use only the greenest parts to avoid confusion. You should however feel free to try cheese in yours, and any other substitutions that you think would taste great! That’s what enjoying food is all about.

k

Daria

Beautiful and Tasty!

Can’t wait to make them!

-From Sunny Canada

Patty Brown

What a fabulous group of recipes! Absolutely wonderful, the shrimp tacos were a feast for both the eyes and the tummy. My guests and I were in shrimp taco heaven, thank you! Ahh. . .

eva

the yummyness! can you make the tortillas w/o a press? I have the flour here but don’t have a press. Peaches are in season. They are sooo good right now.

kristina

hi Eva!

You know what I did? I used a frying pan and then a 6″ diameter cake pan to press the balls flat. The tortillas came out perfectly round. The “deformation” came from the way I handled them in the pan!

Marilou

Oh my goodness.
THIS.
IS.
SO.
DELICIOUS.
Thank you for the recipe!!

Kiki

My friends and I made these for dinner last night. It was perfect for an summer LA dinner. Thank you!

Jennie

I bought my ingredients tonight! By the way, you two make a beautiful couple, love the picture!!

Shelly

WOW! Rarely has a recipe received such a great reception in my house. I made it 2 weeks ago, and tonight am tripling the peach jam to eat again + freeze the leftovers for delicious mid-winter eating once the peaches have long since disappeared.

Yvonne

Kristina: Where did you get the white speckled oval platter/plate used in your taco photo and the matching small bowl with the peach chutney in it? Fabulous!! Yvonne :)

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