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
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.
- 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
Combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight container.
Makes about 16 to 18 balls from the dough
- 2 cups of masa flour
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups warm water
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
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)