Featured Cookbook Friday: Asian-American by Dale Talde

It’s Friday again, which means, among other things like oh-thank-god-it’s-the-weekend-finally, that I’m writing up my cookbook of the week! Asian American: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from the Philippines to Brooklyn by Dale Talde.

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The general public first became aware of Chef Dale Talde on his first of two stints on the popular reality show Top Chef. Lots of people, myself included, thought he was a bit of a hot-headed jerk with his first appearance. He redeemed himself on Top Chef All-Stars, and has gone on to open one of Brooklyn, NY’s most popular fusion restaurants. I don’t get to Brooklyn much, as that place is a real logistical pain – I think of it as the Hotel California (you can check out any time you like but you can never leave – seriously, it takes forever to get out of there!); but I digress. Apparently Talde’s restaurant is quite wonderful. Fortunately for anyone who lives far away from Brooklyn or who just hates messing with its parking and insane traffic problems, Chef Dale gave us the recipes in cookbook form so we can make them at home.

Talde combines his Filipino heritage with his American upbringing to make the most insane, irreverent yet delicious fusion cuisine. This cookbook is a must-have if that notion appeals to you at all.

I began the week with his Nachos, which are pretty American, except that he adds Sriracha to the cheese sauce, and once you taste it you will wonder why you haven’t been adding Sriracha to nachos your whole life. I think I messed this one up a little though? Either the ratio of milk to cheese is a little off, or I didn’t thicken my sauce enough before adding the cheese (highly likely) because it was way too thin for nachos. I know nachos can be messy, but this was really pushing it. But, incredible tasting, so I will definitely try this one again with either less milk or more patience.

Dale Talde's Nachos

Next up I was feeling something healthy, so Grilled Sweet Potato Skewers with Maple, Soy and Bacon came to be, much to the consternation of my smoke alarms. These are so delicious, and sweet potatoes after my own heart, in that they are given many savory complements like soy sauce, bacon and scallions. So freakin’ good! I’ll probably have to give these their own blog post.

Sweet Potato Skewers with Maple, Soy and Bacon

Pepperoni Marinara. Need I say more? Very spicy, acidic tomato sauce punctuated by earthy, salty pepperoni, tossed with spaghetti. Amazing.

Spaghetti with Pepperoni Marinara

Lastly, I chose one from the (somewhat short) dessert chapter – Chocolate-Caramel Bars with a Pretzel-Potato Chip Crust. These are crack. After sneaking a taste (or two!) I sent them to work with Matt, and he was literally getting compliments all day. Like, people stopping by his office out of their way to rave about them. It’s an incredibly thoughtful recipe that works beautifully.

Chocolate-Caramel Bars with Pretzel-Potato Chip Crust

I can’t say enough good things about this book. The recipes look way more involved than they actually are – it’s perfect for home cooks with zany palates.

Zucchini Walnut Bread with Rosemary

Zucchini Walnut Bread with Rosemary

I would really love to be one of those food bloggers that cooks whatever they want to share that week. The ones who go by their own inner whims and tastes, who make a dish over and over, for days in a row until they get it just right to then excitedly share their results. But I’m just not.

I’m usually only cooking for two, and we two who eat my cooking are two people who are keenly aware of the fact that we and our metabolisms are not twenty-two anymore. We limit our portions, thus yielding many leftovers. Sometimes that means leftovers from the meal itself, and sometimes it means that I bought too much of an ingredient at the store.

Zucchini Walnut Bread with Rosemary

And when that happens, it usually leaves me looking for a way to not waste it. So when I bought too much zucchini at the farmer’s market last week, I threw it into zucchini bread to avoid throwing it into the trash. So original, right? Yeah, not so much.

Zucchini Walnut Bread with Rosemary

So I hope what is somewhat creative is this particular recipe for zucchini bread I’m sharing today. Common add-ins to zucchini bread seem to include nuts, chocolate, dried or fresh fruits – but I’d never seen rosemary before. Zucchini bread is on the sweet side, rosemary is not, but I loved the punchiness of that sweet-savory contrast it provided. This recipe method was a bit different from what I’ve seen too. Instead of squeezing all the water out of the shredded zucchini as usual, you use that as the liquid in your batter. I was a bit skeptical, but I shouldn’t have been – it worked quite nicely! Enjoy this one, it’s a great vehicle for using up any excess zucchini you may have lying around your house too!

Zucchini Walnut Bread with Rosemary

Source: Down South by Donald Link

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups plus 2 tbs all-purpose flour
½ cup walnuts
2 medium zucchini
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup canola or olive oil
2 large eggs
Grated zest of 1 small lemon
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and lightly toast in the oven until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes. Set aside, cool slightly, then chop. Using a box grater, grate the zucchini on the coarse holes. Spread the zucchini out on some paper towels to absorb a little excess water but do not squeeze them out.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Stir in the rosemary. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, and eggs. Use a spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then fold in the lemon zest, lemon juice, zucchini, and walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool the bread in the pan completely before slicing and serving.

Featured Cookbook Friday: Fresh Mexico by Marcela Valladolid

I picked this week’s cookbook, Fresh Mexico by Food Network’s Marcela Valladolid, on something of a lark – I needed a salsa for some tacos I was making, Marcela’s first book has a beautiful recipe for yellow tomato pico de gallo; once I made that one, I decided to keep going! It was a good week. 🙂

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The Yellow Tomato Pico de Gallo was delicious – a very classic Mexican pico but with a twist of yellow tomatoes instead, which makes it slightly sweeter. Good on tacos, good on tortilla chips!

Yellow Tomato Pico de Gallo

Next up I decided to do some baking – another Mexican classic, Polvorones! These are fabulous little cookies, coming to the blog in their own post soon!

Polvorones

Since fresh sweet corn will be leaving us soon, I made this extremely tasty Mexican version of a classic potato salad: Grilled Corn and Poblano Potato Salad. Baby potatoes are boiled then halved, corn is grilled on the cob, poblanos are roasted and peeled, then the whole thing gets tossed together in a mayonnaise and sour cream dressing with plenty of scallions and cilantro. Very nice!

Grilled Corn and Poblano Potato Salad

Lastly, I’ve long since been intrigued by one of her dinner salad recipes: White Bean and Octopus Salad, so this provided as good a time as any! The recipe calls for baby octopus, which I couldn’t find, so I (nervously!) ordered already cooked octopus legs from Fresh Direct, praying they wouldn’t be overcooked, (they weren’t, yea!) and just warmed them in some garlicky olive oil, which became the base for the dressing. Beyond that, I made the salad as written, and we both absolutely loved it!

White Bean and Octopus Salad

I really like this book. So far everything I’ve tried has turned out delicious!

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

It’s not a secret: I LOVE banana pudding and frankly, anything else that even halfway resembles it. It’s been this way since childhood. So when I receive a cooking magazine in the mail and one of its featured recipes is a banana pudding poke cake, it was imperative that I drop everything and bake it, immediately.

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Oh. Wow. This is everything you think it’s going to be. A lovely cake moistened by vanilla pudding, sliced bananas, all underneath a light whipped cream frosting. And of course, those ‘Nilla wafers crumbled on top. It speaks for itself, really.

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

A perfect Indian summer treat! Enjoy!

Source: Taste of the South Magazine, May/June 2016

Ingredients:

CAKE:
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 cup whole buttermilk
½ cup mashed banana
½ tsp vanilla extract

PUDDING:
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp kosher salt
3 ½ cups whole milk, divided
8 large egg yolks
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

TOPPING:
3 medium slightly underripe bananas, sliced
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2-4 tbs confectioners’ sugar
Whole and crushed vanilla wafers, for garnish

Directions:
First, make the CAKE: preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with baking spray.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Add mashed banana and vanilla, beating just until combined. Pour into prepared baking dish, smoothing the top.
Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then use a wooden spoon to poke holes in the warm cake.
While the cake is baking, make the PUDDING: in a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk in ½ cup milk and the egg yolks. In a large saucepan, place remaining 3 cups milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Whisk 1 cup hot milk mixture into egg mixture, pouring slowly and whisking constantly. Now whisk the egg mixture into remaining hot milk in the saucepan, again pouring slowly and whisking constantly. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once it is boiling, cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla, stirring until butter melts and is completely combined. Let cool 10 minutes (if it cools more than this, it’s fine).
Once the cake is out of the oven, rested, and poked, pour the pudding over the cake. Cover and refrigerate until chilled about 4 hours.
Meanwhile, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and whip more until stronger peaks form.
Uncover the cake, top all over with the sliced banana, then spread the whipped cream smoothly all over the banana. Sprinkle with crushed vanilla wafers and wedge whole wafers around the border of the cake, if desired.

Roasted Jalapeno and Chorizo Queso #SundaySupper

Roasted Jalapeno and Chorizo Queso

Welcome to #SundaySupper, where our wonderful theme this week is… Football Food!!! Very near and dear to my heart – in fact, I happily watched Houston beat OU yesterday, woohoo! (I hate OU. It’s a Texas thing).

Anywho, when I think of football food, a spicy, Tex-Mex-y, cheesy dip is pretty much the ONLY thing that comes to mind. Growing up in Texas, obviously football was huge, there was always a game on every weekend, and to my young, impressionable mind, it was like queso = watching football in the den. Period. So, of course I have to make a queso for today’s Sunday Supper, right?

Roasted Jalapeno and Chorizo Queso

This particular queso is amazing, addictive, awesome, and incredibly spicy as written. You start by roasting jalapenos at a very high oven heat (recipe instructs roasting at 500 F, but if that makes your smoke alarm go off too, you can totally roast them at 450 F with no problems). Then you brown lovely, fatty, flavorful chorizo in a cast-iron skillet, add some onion, then you add the roasted jalapenos, some canned diced tomatoes and melty processed cheese product (no real cheese here, people. It just won’t do.) Once the “cheese” is melted (ha! Sorry!) you dice up an entire fresh jalapeno, seeds, ribs and all, and add it to the queso once you’ve turned off the heat. Yeah, it’s freakin’ spicy! But sooooo delicious. And if you want, you can totally leave off that last step with the fresh chile to tame the spice level. It’ll still be amazing!

Roasted Jalapeno and Chorizo Queso

Enjoy this perfect football-watching queso dip! And be sure you check out the rest of my Sunday Supper crew!

Source: slightly adapted from Cravings by Chrissy Teigen

Ingredients:
6 large jalapenos, divided
1 tbs olive oil
½ lb. fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed
¾ cup diced onion
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, with juices
1 lb. processed cheese product, such as Velveeta
Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:
Preheat your oven as high as it will go without angering your smoke detector – up to 500 F but 450 F is fine too.
Halve and seed 5 of the jalapenos. Toss with olive oil in a bowl to coat, then arrange on a small, foil-lined baking sheet, skin-side up. Roast until blistering and getting dark, about 15 minutes. Cool until you can handle them, then thinly slice or chop, discarding the stems. Set aside. Finely mince the remaining raw jalapeno, seeds, ribs and all. Set aside.
In a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet* cook the chorizo over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until browned and no traces of pink remain. Add the onion and cook until softened. Stir in the tomatoes, with their juices, and the roasted jalapenos. Then add the Velveeta. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir until the “cheese” melts, 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the raw jalapeno and stir until mixture is perfectly smooth. Serve with tortilla chips.
*I made this twice, once using a 12” skillet and the other time using a 10” skillet. It really doesn’t matter which one you use. The 12” is easier during the cooking process (more room) but the queso cools much faster this way after you serve it. With the 10” you have to be more careful while you stir during cooking (less space) but it’s better for serving. Your choice.

Appetizers

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Side Dishes

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Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Featured Cookbook Friday: Flour by Joanne Chang

I love cookbooks the way Oprah loves bread.

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So, I’ve decided to actually do something about it – each week that it’s feasible, I’m concentrating most of that week’s cooking/baking efforts on a single book, making three to five recipes from it. I’ll report on my endeavors here each Friday!

Although it’s been published for several years now, Flour by Joanne Chang is new to my collection and after baking four recipes from it, I have no idea what took me so long to pick it up. It’s a fantastic book that not only inspires you to bake fearlessly, her directions are just good. The recipes work.

Flour cookbook image

I began with Cornmeal Lime Cookies, which I thought for sure I’d burned at the edges when I removed them from the oven, but they were delicious! I think I made them a little bigger than instructed because I wound up with about three fewer cookies than I was supposed to, but I’ll just have to stand by it. Oh, and these got even better the next day.

Cornmeal Lime Cookies (Flour)

Next I made Lemon Ginger Scones, mainly because I had some crystallized ginger that needed using up. Results? Outstanding! This is the one recipe I deviated from in the cooking method – the book instructs to cook them for a longer time at a lower temperature, but I’ve always made scones and biscuits at 425 F and anywhere between 12 and 20 minutes bake time. The high heat blasts the cold butter and makes them taller and flakier. Since I know this method works, and this way gets the scone in your mouth faster, I stuck with it. Worked beautifully!

Lemon Ginger Scones (Flour)

I made her brioche dough, which is enough for either two loaves, or two recipes calling for manipulating the dough into a breakfast treat. I went for the latter, and one recipe of brioche dough yielded a batch of Flour’s famous sticky buns and a brioche au chocolat. I followed her directions exactly on the brioche dough and found them very precise and successful.

So, Flour Bakery’s Sticky Buns shot to fame on that old Food Network show “Throwdown” and they are most assuredly worth the hype. This may ruin all other sticky buns for you, period. The recipe worked *exactly* as advertised, and they are just. so. good! Tastes best slightly warmed.

Flour Bakery's Famous Sticky Buns

With the remaining half of the brioche dough, I made Brioche au Chocolat, which is essentially rolling out the brioche dough to a thin rectangle, spreading pastry cream all over it, and sprinkling chopped dark chocolate on the bottom half; fold it in half, cut into logs and bake. I thought for sure this was going to be the terrible recipe because the insides royally spilled out of the logs, but somehow it all worked. They’re not the prettiest breakfast pastry out there, but swoon-worthy delicious.

Brioche au Chocolat (Flour)

Overall, highly recommend this book to any home bakers out there!

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Harissa Aioli and Dukkah

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Harissa Aioli and Dukkah

Confession: I lived in New York City (Queens) for almost nine years and visited the major Union Square farmer’s market so few times as to be able to count them on two hands. Please don’t judge too harshly. It’s not that it isn’t a fantastic farmer’s market – it definitely is! – but I lived just far away enough to make getting there a serious pain, and there’s a huge Barnes & Noble a stone’s throw away, so I always got really distracted anyway. (We’re here for sour cherries. We’re here for sour cherr-BOOOOKKKKKSSSSS!!!!)

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Harissa Aioli and Dukkah

Living in Hoboken is different, in that several different small farmer’s markets are readily accessible during summer and early fall months (since the entire city is a tad over 1 square mile), and aside from days I’ve been out of town, I don’t think I’ve missed a day yet. Which brings us to rainbow carrots.

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Harissa Aioli and Dukkah

I keep seeing them, week after week, worming their way into my subconscious like the cleverest of ad campaigns. I caved a few weeks ago, made this superlative side dish with my purchase, and here we are.

Both times I made this, I know I made some kind of protein for the main dish, but I cannot remotely remember, as it was royally upstaged. Lamb chops, maybe? That does sound good…

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Harissa Aioli and Dukkah

Anywho! This is incredible. Sweetness of the carrots, playing off the creamy, spicy aioli, all punctuated by the crunch of the dukkah. Such a beautiful dish. Enjoy!

Source: Seven Spoons by Tara O’Brady

Ingredients:
3 tbs whole hazelnuts, skin on
1 tbs sesame seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
Kosher salt and black pepper
12 skinny carrots or 6 thin rainbow carrots sliced in half lengthwise, tops trimmed and scrubbed clean
Olive oil
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 tsp harissa

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 F and place a rack in the upper third of the oven.
First make the dukkah: in a small skillet over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until lightly golden and aromatic, shaking the pan often, about 2 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a small bowl and set aside. Repeat the process with the sesame seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds, toasting each separately, then adding each to the bowl with the hazelnuts. Set aside to cool completely.
In a mortar and pestle or small food processor, pound or process the hazelnut mixture into an unevenly textured mix. You want some little chunks, not a fine powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
On a sheet pan, toss the carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the carrots, turning once, about 15-20 minutes, until cooked through but not mushy.
While the carrots are roasting, make the aioli by whisking the mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, harissa, plus salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl until smooth. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
To serve, arrange the carrots on a serving platter. Sprinkle with as much dukkah as you like (you’ll likely have leftovers), then drizzle with aioli. Pass extra aioli at the table.

Cucumber Gin Rickey

Cucumber Gin Rickey

Matt and I vacationed in Florida during the last two weeks of July, and we had such a blast. However, I cannot tell a lie: it was hot. And humid. We returned to an NYC with much cooler temps, only to be hit with a Particularly Fierce Heat Wave a few days later. As with all heat waves up here, it brought with it its ever-loyal buddy, Insufferable Humidity. Aaaanndd, it still hasn’t let up. Enter the Cucumber Gin Rickey.

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Everyone dealing with late summer heat waves (and that’s pretty much everyone, right?) needs a refreshing cocktail in their arsenal, and while I’ve been a cucumber-drink-sceptic for a while, this drink convinced me of the merits. Cucumber is so fresh and summery, and it can lighten up a drink like nobody’s business. We both raved.

Cucumber Gin Rickey

Despite this oppressive heat and humidity combo, I’m really not ready for fall. I’d love for this summer to keep going, probably because I just want another of these cocktails. Anyways, I do highly recommend for your cooling off pleasure. Enjoy!

Source: Shake: A New Perspecitve on Cocktails by Eric Prum and Josh Williams

Ingredients:
4 shots gin
1 handful fresh mint leaves, plus a few for garnish
8 slices of cucumber, divided
1 shot fresh lime juice
Ginger beer

Directions:
Add the mint leaves, 6 cucumber slices, and lime juice to a shaker. Muddle the ingredients in the bottom of the shaker until thoroughly crushed. Add the gin, then add ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
Strain the mixture into pint glasses containing large ice cubes. Top with ginger beer, then garnish with the remaining cucumber slices (1 per drink) and mint leaves. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 drinks as written.

Butter Lettuce and Strawberry Salad with Gorgonzola and Candied Sunflower Seed “Croutons”

Butter Lettuce and Strawberry Salad with Gorgonzola and Candied Sunflower Seed "Croutons"

I love salads all year round, but dear lord they just have to be lighter in the summer – otherwise, what’s the point? This is my personal example of the ideal summer salad.

Butter Lettuce and Strawberry Salad with Gorgonzola and Candied Sunflower Seed "Croutons"

Butter lettuce, with which I am more than a tad bit obsessed; sweet, juicy, peak-season strawberries; a tangy cheese to offset the sweetness; a light vinaigrette with just the right balance of heft and tartness; and a good crunch at the end.

Butter Lettuce and Strawberry Salad with Gorgonzola and Candied Sunflower Seed "Croutons"

We should discuss this crunch. I should tell you how delicious it is, how it could probably adorn a bowl of ice cream so beautifully, and how as written it will yield about twice what you need – which means you can make another batch of this salad if you didn’t inhale them all. Big if, by the way. Enjoy this one on a very hot day, seeing as those seem to be afflicting almost everyone right now.

Butter Lettuce and Strawberry Salad with Candied Sunflower Seed "Croutons"

Source: ever so slightly adapted from Home by Bryan Voltaggio

Ingredients:

DRESSING:
2-3 oz. dried strawberries
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup white grape juice
Pinch of salt

SUNFLOWER SEED “CROUTONS”:
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 tbs honey
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups unsalted raw sunflower seeds
¼ tsp sweet paprika

SALAD:
4 heads butter lettuce
8 oz. fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 tbs olive oil
4 oz. Gorgonzola

Directions:
The night before you want to serve, start the DRESSING: place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl, mix well, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. The next day, put the mixture into the blender. Puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and reserve.
To make the “CROUTONS”: put the sugar, honey, and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium pot. Over medium heat, cook the sugar and honey together until the sugar melts, then add the sunflower seeds. Cook and stir until the sugars caramelize and the seeds become evenly roasted, about 10 minutes. Stir in the paprika. Remove the sunflower seeds from the pan and cool them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. When the seeds cool, break them up into bite-size croutons.
Assemble the SALAD: put the lettuce leaves in a large bowl. Add the fresh strawberries and olive oil. Dress the salad with the dressing, taking care not to overdress it. Toss to combine, then add the sunflower seed croutons and chunk the Gorgonzola on top. Serve immediately.

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

Years ago, when I finally decided to start eating from the produce aisle on a voluntary basis, I’ve been searching for a vegetable-based taco that meets with my admittedly high and exacting taco standards. Which are the following: they must be filling and hefty, no matter what the contents; flavor must be extremely bold and in your face; there must be a touch of heat and spice from chiles of some kind; there must be multiple components that complement each other.

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

Vegetarian tacos generally fail at most of these criteria, particularly the last one. It often feels like people, more specifically restaurants and food trucks, think that if the filling is vegetable or bean based, then it might be overkill to top it with a vegetable or bean-based salsa. No!! Not at all! In fact it’s quite necessary to provide that contrast of textures, and that is a bit tougher on a vegetable-based taco.

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

But with this blog post, I’m proving beyond any doubt that it is entirely possible. The key is choosing different textures between the main event filling and the garnish. This taco is, thus far, my hands down favorite meat-free taco ever, and it’s not a stretch to say it’s going in my top ten tacos eaten ever. The zucchini here is chopped and sautéed, so a chopped tomato salsa really wouldn’t work. The textures and shapes would be too similar. Corn kernels are a perfect solution. Then the chipotle crema adds a creamy note that this taco just begs for, plus that heat and spice that I personally require on all tacos.

Zucchini Tacos with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Crema

Carnivore or vegetarian, I don’t care, just try these. Whatever your eating habits/philosophy, it doesn’t matter – you will NOT be disappointed. Enjoy!

Source: Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

Ingredients:

TACOS:
2 tbs olive oil
2 shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cubed zucchini
Salt and black pepper, to taste
8 corn tortillas, warmed

CORN SALSA:
2 ears grilled corn on the cob, kernels cut from cob
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and black pepper, to taste

CHIPOTLE CREMA:
3 tbs plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch each of salt and black pepper

Directions:
For the TACOS: heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring, until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini, salt, and pepper and stir. Cook, stirring, until the zucchini becomes slightly tender, 5-6 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
For the CORN SALSA, combine the corn kernels, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl and toss together.
For the CREMA, whisk together yogurt, adobo sauce, lime juice, salt and pepper.
To assemble the tacos, add some zucchini mixture to each warm tortilla and cover it with corn salsa. Drizzle some crema on top. Serve immediately.